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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FOREGANG, n., v. Also -giang (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 72), -geng (Sh.). [′forg(j)ɑŋ, -gɛŋ]

I. n. An image of a person or some other supernatural sign thought to presage a death, a wraith (Sh., Cai., Bnff. 1953); “a light supposed to be seen moving along the road over which a burial procession is to pass” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 52); any premonition of misfortune. Cf. Forego, Ganfer. In 1877 quot. the absence of the notion of coming trouble is exceptional.Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 141:
[At Halloween] da foregeng o' every lass's lad wis expecked ta come an' turn his sweetheart's sark dat wis upo' da back o' da share.
Cai. 1921 Old-Lore Misc. IX. i. 21:
Before deaths there were always those who had “foregangs” or saw “lichts” or had “dreams.”
Cai. 1932 John o' Groat Jnl. (28 Oct.):
A wid say A hed a foregang 'boot Robbie at Niagara.

II. v. To presage, anticipate.Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 108:
Da meltin winter snaas foregeng da flüd, Da storms o war da smilin calm o peace.

[Fore-, 2. + geng, Gang.]

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"Foregang n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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