Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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STRAVAIG, v., n. Also stravag(e), stravague, -vaeg-, -vayg-, -veig, -vaug-; strayvagg-, streveg; stravog (Uls. 1904 E.D.D.). [strɑ′veg, †′-vɑg]

I. v. 1. intr. To roam, wander idly, gad about in an aimless casual manner (s.Sc. 1801 J. Leyden Complaynt 379; Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. Vbl.n. stravaigin. Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 158:
Pith, that helps them to stravaig Our ilka cleugh and ilka craig.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 112:
Some notion o' my land-lowperlike stravaguin.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 102:
[They] fright the herds, wi' eldrich croon, Wha gaung straveigen by the moon.
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck i.:
What has put it i' your head that our bairn stravaigs i' the night time.
Abd. 1837 J. Leslie Willie & Maggie 25:
Gaun streveggin hine awa there.
Fif. 1894 J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 18:
The idle, extravagant, stravaigin' hizzie that she is.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 427:
They use't tae stravaig a gey deal aboot the shore.
Gsw. 1902 J. J. Bell Wee MacGreegor vi.:
Dinna let me catch ye stravaygin awa' again.
Ork. 1911 Old-Lore Misc. IV. iv. 185:
Dey wad fund da fok i tha Hillside gaun stravaigan aboot i heather jakets.
Sc. 1965 Weekly Scotsman (4 March) 19:
We used to stravaig all over the Highlands on motor bikes.

Hence stravaiger, a wanderer, a roaming vagabond person, a stroller (Sc. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1971), a seceder, ¶stravagueries, pranks, roving escapades. Edb. 1767 Session Papers, Dick v. Tennent Proof 11:
A step made by stravaguers through the grass upon the south side of said inclosure.
Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick I. xi.:
Some hill stravauger wad hae seen or heard tell o' ye.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals xiii., l.:
Lady Macadam's hens and fowls being great stravaggers for their meat. . . . Edifying monuments of resignation even among the strayvaggers.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man III. vii.:
It is hard to be eaten out o' house and hald wi' sorners and stravaegers this gate.
Rxb. a.1860 J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 17:
Wrestlings, racings, with other vain stravagueries.
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy l.:
The deil tak' a' stravaigers and run-the-countries that gae wanderin' in sic weather.
em.Sc. 1913 J. Black Gloamin' Glints 142:
The grun's rowed on an' trampit sair wi' stravaigers.
Gsw. 1937 F. Niven Staff at Simson's iv.:
A great stravaiger to horse-races, whippet-races, country fairs, agricultural shows.

2. tr. To traverse, to go up and down (a place) (Sh., ne.Sc., Per. 1971). Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 68:
Stravagin' the country sellin' heather reenges an' cawf's maws for makin' cheese.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 234:
Brownies wander there, they say; Ghaists an' ghouls stravaig it steady.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 126:
Instead o' gaun away oot to stravaig the street.
Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 44:
Stravaigin the wardle wide.
Gsw. 1956 Bulletin (27 Jan.) 5:
Stravaiging the streets meant to me a hopeless, helpless, aimless wandering up and down with no clear thought in the mind.

II. n. A roaming about, an aimless, casual rambling, a stroll (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 184). Gen.Sc. Adj. ¶stravaigie, going beyond the usual bounds, errant, capricious. Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 85:
Whatever folk happened to fa' in wi' them on the stravaig.
Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales of Glens 243:
Taking a stravaig amang your braw mountains.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 250:
I had been awa on the stravaig wi' John Paiks.
Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town 271:
A wife who periodically went on what was called the “stravaig.”
e.Lth. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 108:
Nature, ever, noo-an'-than, Grows saucy an' stravagie.
Slg. 1935 W. D. Cocker Further Poems 39:
The lang stravaig through the kintry wide.

[Aphetic form of Extravage, q.v., O.Sc. extravage, to ramble in talk, the root meaning persisting under the influence of Vaig.]

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"Stravaig v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Jul 2020 <>



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