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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SLOGAN, n. Also slogen, slogurn, slugho(r)n; ¶slachdan (Inv. 1838 D. Macdonald Poems 36). [′slogən, †′slʌg-]

1. A war- or rallying-cry, usually in the form of the name of a clan chief or of some clan rendezvous, used by the Sc. Highlanders and Borderers, orig. as a signal to gather in arms or as a password (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc., hist.; rarely, of any loud invocation. Also attrib. in such combs. as slogan-cry, -shout, -yell.Sc. 1723 W. Buchanan Acct. Fam. Buchanan 165:
The isle of Clareinch was the slogurn or call of war, proper to the family of Buchanan.
Sc. 1802 Scott Minstrelsy I. 132:
Then speedilie to wark we gaed, And raised the slogan ane and a'.
Sc. 1808 Scott Marmion vi. xxvii.:
The Border slogan rent the sky! A Home! a Gordon! was the cry.
Sc. 1810 J. Porter Sc. Chiefs I. iv.:
Wallace, whose widowed heart turned icy cold at the dreadful slogen of his Marion's name.
Sc. 1829 Jacobite Minstrelsy 144:
“Holleu, Mac Garadh!” was the most ancient slughorn or war-cry of the Hays of Errol.
Sc. 1831 J. Logan Sc. Gael (1876) I. 304:
Border clans, and others now reckoned Lowland, had also their slogans.
Gall. 1843 J. Nicholson Tales 69:
To the yell of their slogan the echoes awake.
Bwk. 1879 Minstrelsy Merse (Crockett 1893) 200:
Oft has the yeoman's slogan cry re-echoed through her vales.
Kcb. 1900 Crockett Black Douglas 257:
Here, lads, blaw the horn and cry the slogan.
Rxb. 1901 W. Laidlaw Poetry 63:
The hills and glens did loud resound With slogan shouts and clang of steel.
Sc. 1966 Scotland's Mag. (Jan.) 30:
He [Scott] popularised, if he did not invent, many of the crude anglicisations of Gaelic words and place-names — “slogan” for “sluaghgairm” . . . and so on.

2. By extension, a catchword or motto adopted by a (group of) person(s) and used to distinguish them from others. Borrowed into Eng. in mid. 19th c.Sc. 1704 J. Maidment Sc. Pasquils (1868) 384:
Your slughons are falsehood and plunder.

3. A nickname or by-name used to distinguish between persons of the same name, esp. in districts where a few surnames predominate (Fif. 1825 Jam.) Cf. Slog-Name, id.

[O.Sc. slogorne, = 1., 1513, slogane, 1571, Gael. sluagh-ghairm, the cry or shout of the host or army. The word was popularised by Scott.]

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"Slogan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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