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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DOG, n., v. Sc. usages. For Sc. forms see also Dowg and Dug.

I. n. Also †dogg, †doge.

1. Mechanical devices: (1) A lever used by blacksmiths in hooping cart-wheels, etc. (Abd.9 1940; Rxb. 1825 Jam.2).Abd.2 1940:
The Smith's ringin' dog wis fae workin', and he cudna ring wheels the day.
Mearns 1735 Baron Court Bk. Urie (S.H.S. 1892) 156:
He saw the defenders throw a dogg at each other.

(2) In combs.: (a) broom-dog, see Broom, n., 2; (b) bush-dog, a crow-bar used to uproot shrubs and bushes.(b) Sc. 1729 W. Macintosh Inclosing 122:
We are obliged to send the lesser Estated Landlords, with the Bush-dog, to grub out of Woods and Bushes what he best can come at.

(3) Mining: “the spring-hook attaching the kettle to the winding rope” (Sc. 1944 (per Edb.6)).

2. As in Eng., used to denote various atmospheric phenomena: (1) = Eng. sun dog, a parhelion (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 39); (2) “a name given by mariners to a meteor seen, immediately above the horizon, generally before sunrise, or after sunset; viewed as a certain prognostic of the approach of bad weather” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2, (sea-)dog).(2) Ib.:
While the weather-gaw seems a detached section of a rainbow, the dog has no variety of colours, but is of a dusky white.

3. The stick or club used in the game of cat(tie) an(d) dog(gie) (Ags., Lth. 1808 Jam.), see Cat, n.2, 2 (2). Also dim. doggie (Fif.1 1940).

4. A buoy for fishing-nets or lines, as orig. made from a dog's skin. Sc. 1866 J. G. Bertram Harvest of Sea 266:
The sinker goes splash into the water, the dog is heaved overboard.
Bte. 1745 Session Bk. Rothesay (1931) 458:
Quarelling with young Donald M'Gilcheran from the Inch anent furnishing a dog to ther cod-fishing.

II. v.

1. To play truant (Gsw. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.; 1940 (per Abd.27)). Hence dogger, a truant; dogger's caird, a school attendance card (Gsw. 1990s).Sc. 1998 Herald (30 Oct) 23:
A Lanarkshire teacher gets in touch with an idea to make life easier for guidance staff. The bane of their lives is the time-consuming administrative procedures involved in charting which of the little darlings are dogging school.
Sc. 2000 Herald 2 Jun 12:
"I was thrown out of the house for dogging school and had had nothing to do with drugs. I saw some terrible things."
Sc. 2001 Daily Record 12 Oct 58:
I can only tell this woman the affect that the constant pressure, slaps and nagging had on me. By 13, I was drinking, doing glue and dogging school.
Sc. 2003 Daily Record 22 Aug 11:
The teenager, who cannot be named, said he had been "dogging school" for more than a year and the beating was his own fault.
Edb. 1994 Gordon Legge I Love Me (Who Do You Love?) 119:
'Funny but that's the exact same words you used when we seen Skete Laird with Michelle Chapman, primary seven, Glenbow Primary. You were just like that back then. Anything you weren't involved in, you just dismissed it. Anything to do with lassies and you ran a mile. You were the guy that dogged it on the last day when we had dances at the school, that was you. Scared.'
Gsw. 1987 James Kelman Greyhound for Breakfast (1988) 144:
Gary didnt acknowledge him. Smit waited and when the other passed him by to walk upstairs he whispered, You dogging it this afternoon Gary?

2. With (1) on: in Mining: “to put hutches on the cage (prob. from the hooking of the creel to the pit rope by a dog hook)” (wm.Sc. 1944 (per Edb.6)); (2) up: to be aggressive or defiant.(2) Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 26:
I never saw this teacher lose his temper, although I have often seen a big scholar “dog up” on the floor with him.

III. Phrs., Combs. and attrib. uses. As in Eng. dog is used in some cases to denote “false, spurious.”

1. Gen. usages: †(1) as thick as dogs' heads, very intimate (Sc. 1825 Jam.2), used contemptuously; †(2) at the dog-drug, “in ruinous circumstances” (Abd. Ib.), “to the dogs”; cf. (10) and (20); (3) dog-afore-his-maister, the swell of the sea that often precedes a storm (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 39; Bnff. 1949 People's Jnl. (22 Jan.); Abd.27 1920); (4) dog-ahin's-maister, the swell of the sea after a storm has ceased (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 39; Bnff.2 1940); (5) dog-bit, a morsel of food; †(6) dog-cattle, a contemptuous term applied to ill-nourished animals; (7) dog-cockle, the carpet-shell, Venerupis pullastris (Ork. 1954 Ork. Miscellany II. 56); (8) dog-dirder, see Dird, v., 1 (1); (9) dog-dirt, rubbish; †(10) dog-drave, -drive, -driving, ruin, utter confusion; cf. (2) and (20); (11) dog-foolie (Gael. faoileann), a sea-bird (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 222), a gull (? Bnff. 1905 A. R. Forbes Gael. Names of Beasts, etc. 281); (12) dog-hilloc(k), dowg-hillag, doggie-hillag, dog-hill, a small mound or hillock covered with long grass (Cai. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl., doggie-hillag; Cai.7 1940, dowg-); sometimes found as the name of a farm (Abd.27 1949). Used fig. in quot. for any insignificant place; (13) dog-hole, a hole left in the wall of a building as an entrance for a dog (Bnff.2, Ags.17 1940); (14) dog in the wall [well], an imaginary or fictitious obstacle; (15) dog-loup, -lowp, a strip of ground between two buildings on which the eaves drip (Sc. 1900 E.D.D.; em.Sc. (b) 1925). See Lowp, n., 1; (16) dog-lug'd, of a book: dog-eared (Abd.9 1940); (17) dog-meal, see quot. Cf. O.Sc. dog-mele, id., 1493; †(18) dog-rung, “one of the spars which connect the stilts of a plough” (Cld. 1825 Jam.2); (19) dog(gie)'s brose, a thrust with the knee under someone's posteriors; cf. Doggie-hip; (20) dog's drift, ruin; cf. (2) and (10); †(21) dog's ease (quot.); (22) dog's helper, “a person of mean appearance” (Ork. 1887 Jam.6); (23) dog's-lug, (a) dog's ear (of a book) (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Abd.9 1940); (b) a potato scone (Ags. 1949 (per Abd.27)); (24) dog's wages, food given as the only wages for service (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Abd.28 1948; Per. 1930 (per Fif.17)); †(25) dog-thick, very intimate; (26) dog-trot, a jog-trot, a steady pace (Abd.9 1940); (27) dog(gie)-too(an), = dog-hillock (Ork. 1975). See Too, n.1; (28) dog winkle, a sea mollusc, Purpura lapillus (Sc. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.); †(29) to make a dog(e) or a hog(e) of (something), to bring something to a decisive issue.(5) Ags. 1857 A. Douglas Hist. Ferryden 86:
Ging awa', Kirsty, an' gie that puir thing a dog-bit frae the lum-rack.
(6) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxvii.:
The nearest relations . . . urged the dog-cattle of the hackney coaches to all the speed of which they were capable.
(9) Ayr. 1870 J. K. Hunter Life Studies 190:
Blaw them a' to dog-dirt at the dead hour o' nicht.
(10) Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 32:
He's gane to the dog drave.
Sc. 1814 C. I. Johnstone Saxon and Gael I. 152:
It is very hard that I cannot enjoy myself a few months in town with my lord's family, but everything must go to the dog-driving at Dunlara.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1879) 75:
That we to Maltman's browst may steer, And ilka care and ilka fear To dog-drive ding.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums iii.:
He cam near upon makin' a dogdrave o' the estate.
(12) Abd. 1777 J. Anderson Essays II. 234:
Dog-hills, as I call the little hills by roadsides, where dogs usually piss and dung.
Ags. 1887 Brechin Advertiser (25 Oct.) 3/5:
Altho' I dinna think 'at publick hooses an' speerit chopies sud be set doon at ilka dog hillock.
Ayr. 1765 Session Papers, Earl of Crauford v. Ralston (6 Dec.) 17:
He heard it said, that some Thorns and an Dog Hilloc were called Marches.
(13) ne.Sc. 1881 Gregor Folk-Lore 61:
At times the child has been saved from them as they were carrying it through the dog-hole.
(14) Abd. 1925 Abd. Press and Jnl. (23 Jan.):
It is said of a person who is always expecting formidable obstacles in every task, “Oh, there's aye a dog in the wall with him.”
(16) Mry. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 71:
And thumb'd, and thumb'd, the dog-lug'd leaves.
(17) Dmb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVII 223:
A little west of the Leven, upon a small eminence called Castle hill, stood, it is said, a castle, at times the residence of King Robert Bruce. . . . A farm in the neighbourhood still pays to the superior a feu-duty called dog-meal. This tax is supposed to have been originally imposed for the maintenance of his Majesty's hounds.
(19) Abd.27 1949:
Them that dinna play fair'll get doggie's brose.
(20) Ork. 1904 Dennison Sketches 3:
A' the Elfinstens geed tae dog's drift seun efter.
(21) Sc. 1807 J. Hall Travels in Scot I. 223–4:
An Abernethey laird lives in what they call, in Scotland, dog's ease, that is, poor fare, and nothing to do.
(24) Sc. 1775 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) III. 352:
He has not even dogs-wages for his trouble, but does all for stark love and kindness.
(25) Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems 141:
If thou on earth wouldst live respecket. . . . Get dog-thick wi' the Parish Priest, To a' his foibles mould thy taste.
(26) Lnk. 1816 G. Muir Cld. Minstrelsy 17:
I trudged on wi' a' my might At a dog trot.
(29) Sc. 1713 in Laing MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm. 1925) II. 171:
In short whither the Scots succeed or not they expect this methode [of moving the dissolution of the Union] will be approved off in there oun country and spirit up every man to act as such. Jacta est alea. Also they designe to make a doge or a hoge of it.

2. Plant names: (1) dog-berry, (a) the guelder rose, Viburnum opulus (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); also in n.Eng. dial.; (b) the bear-berry, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Abd. 1886 B. and H. 154; Abd.2 1940); (c) tutsan (Arg.1 1931), a species of St-John's-wort, genus Hypericum; (2) dog daisy, the ox-eye daisy, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (Ayr.9 1949; Kcb.1 1940; Dmf. 1948 (per Abd.27)); also locally in Eng.; (3) dog-fintle, -finkle, the yarrow, Achillea millefolium (Abd.6 1916, -finkle; Abd.15 1915, -fintle); (4) dog(‘s) flourish, (a) applied to various plants of the Umbelliferous family (Rxb. 1948 (per Abd.27)); (b) the ragwort (Rnf. 1948 (per Abd.27)); (5) dog flower, the dandelion (Ork.5 1948); (6) doggie's brose, a name for the milfoil, Achillea millefolium (Abd. 1920); (7) dog-gowan, the feverfew, Matricaria inodora (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Abd.9 1940); (8) dog-heather, the ling heather, Calluna vulgaris (Abd. 1886 B. and H. 155; Abd.9, Ags.2 1940); (9) dog('s)-hip, the fruit of the dog-rose, Rosa canina (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Abd.28 1948; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Ayr.9 1949; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., 1942 Zai; doggie's hip Abd. 1990s); (10) dognashicks [Gael. cnàimhseag, pimple, bear-berry], †(a) “something of the same kind with the gall-nut, produced by an insect depositing its ova on the leaves of the Salix repens, or Trailing willow” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); (b) = (1) (b); †(11) dog-rowan, = (1) (a) (Lnk. 1825 Jam.2); (12) dog's berries, the stone bramble, Rubus saxatilis (Mry. 1935 J. Burgess Flora of Mry. 10); †(13) dog's camovyne, = (7) (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); (14) dog's carvi, the wild chervil, Anthriscus sylvestris (Sh. 1947 Sh. Folk Bk. (ed. Tait) I. 81); (15) dog's corn, the tall oat grass, Arrhenatherum elatius; also applied to various other large-seeded grasses (Ib.); (16) dog's dogger, the male orchis, Orchis mascula (Clc. 1886 B. and H. 156); †(17) dog's hippens, = (9) (Abd. 1825 Jam.2); (18) dog's kail, stone-crop, Sedum anglicum (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 62); †(19) dog's lugs, the foxglove (Fif. Ib.); (20) dog's money, the yellow rattle, Rhinanthus crista-galli (Sh. 1913–14 J. M. Hutcheson W.-L.); cf. (22); (21) dog's-paise (piz), (a) the lady's fingers, Anthyllus vulneraria (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 39, -paise); (b) the meadow vetchling, Lathyrus pratensis (Ork.5 1948; Abd.13 (Peterhead) 1910); cf. craw-pea(s) s.v. Craw, n.1, IV. A. 8. (1)); (22) dog's pennies, = (20) (Sh. 1947 Sh. Folk Bk. (ed. Tait) I. 81); (23) dog's piz, see (21); †(24) dog's siller, = (20); “this name is given to the seed vessels” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); †(25) dog's-tansy, the silver-weed, Potentilla argentea (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (26) dog's teats, the hare's foot trefoil, Trifolium arvense (Mry. 1839 G. Gordon Flora of Mry.); (27) dog-thistle, the sow-thistle, Sonchus oleraceus (Ork.5 1948). (2) Sc. 1884 J. Burroughs Fresh Fields (1885) 176: The rank, coarse, ox-eye daisy . . . more or less abundant in Britain too. The Scotch call this latter “dog daisy.” (4) (a) wm.Sc. 1948 J. R. Fethney in Scots Mag. (April) 22: They cut stems of “dog's flourish,” . . . an acrid-smelling umbelliferous weed, the very scent of which brings back instant memories of childhood's ploys. With the hollow, pungent-tasting stems they made pea-shooters.(9) Sc. 1742 Ramsay in Curiosities Sc. Charta Chest (ed. M. Forbes) 148:
Pears and Peaches are as rife as Dog-hips on the Brier.
(10) (b) Sc.(E) 1868 D. M. Ogilvy Willie Wabster's Wooing 24:
Dog-nashicks, craw-croops, bluarts blow, Adoon the dens o' Doddivo!

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"Dog n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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