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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HAGGER, v.1, n.1 [′hagər]

I. v. To cut, slice clumsily or unevenly so as to leave a jagged edge (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 72; Mry., Bnff., Abd. 1956). Ppl.adjs. haggered, haggerin, jaggedly cut, full of notches, mangled (Bch., s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Abd. 1956).Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 107:
Seizing the fir-gullie, he ran to the byre and made “a roch haggerin' job” of cutting the calf's throat.
Bch. 1943 Scots Mag. (March) 446:
Fan royt nackets tummel't, greetin', at their play, She'd rowe up their haggert bitties, sen' them dancin' furth again.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 26:
Whit gars the act is aft
a Gordian knot that aince haggert
leaves but a taigle squirmin on the grund
Abd. 1993:
Hagger aff a fang o loaf till's.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 26:
Oor wyes warna yours, we nivver vrocht
Wi net nor line
Nor guttin knife, nor fan on haggert thoom
The stang o the brine.

Hence haggerty-taggerty, haggarty-taggarty, haggerty-tag-like, adj., ragged (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.); haggerty-tag, adv., raggedly (Ib.).Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister xiv.:
This haggarty-taggarty Egyptian.

II. n. A deep jagged cut such as is made by a knife or other slashing implement (Bnff., Abd. 1956). Phr.: to mak a hagger o', to make a botch of (Bnff., Abd. 1956).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 72:
A've gien ma finger a great hagger wee a knife. He took a bullax an' ga' the tree a hagger half through.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 117:
Syne he baath'd an' bun the haggers — some were gapin' to the been.

Hence (1) haggeral, (a) a large, jagged cut (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 72); (b) a large, open, festering sore (Ib.); (2) haggrie, a mass of badly cooked and untidily served food (Ib., 73); (3) hageral, = (2) (Bnff. 1919 T.S.D.C. III. 14).

[Freq. form of Hag, v.1, n.1 Cf. Haggle, v., n.1]

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"Hagger v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



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