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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HOGGER, n. Also hoger (Sc. 1808 Jam., Per., Cld. 1880 Jam.), hoggar (Arg. 1936 L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 14); hugger, huggar; hooger (Lnk. 1865 J. Hamilton Poems 183); howgar (Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock xvii.); ¶hoggart (Ayr. 1836 Tait's Mag. (July) 459) and, by confusion with Moggan, ¶hoggan. [′hogər, ′hʌg-]

1. A coarse stocking without a foot, worn as a gaiter (Gall. 1902 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; em.Sc.(a), wm.Sc., Rxb. 1957), sometimes worn on the arms, e.g. by reapers as a protection against thistles, etc. (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 107; Uls.3 1931).Sc. 1711 J. Kirkwood Hist. 27 Gods Lnl. 36:
A Boy . . . with a Blanket and a Pair of Hoggers on his Legs.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 145:
A pair of gray hoggers well clinked benew.
Sc. 1807 J. Hall Travels I. 608:
During the time I staid in Edinburgh, I only observed one person, a big boy from the country, wearing mire-pipes, or stockings without feet, called in some parts of Scotland, huggers.
Ayr. c.1827 Galt Howdie (1923) 6:
He had his wife's shawl tied over his hat by a great knot under the chin, and a pair of huggars drawn over his shoes and above his knee.
Lnl. 1868 A. Dawson Rambling Recoll. 31:
Arrayed with great rigg and fur huggars, stretching from heel to thigh.

Hence deriv., comb. and phr.: (1) hoggart, huggered, -t, ppl.adj., of a stocking: footless; of a person: wearing hoggers; (2) hugger-muggan, a hogger (Fif. 1958); (3) to hae somebody by the huggers, to have someone in custody, to have a tight hold on someone.(1) Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 214:
While Herdies sing wi' huggert taes, An' wanton lams are prancin'.
Sc. 1823 Blackwood's Mag. (Oct.) 427:
Some huggered, red-armed, horny-fisted, glaur-nailed Girrzy.
Sc. 1854 D. Vedder Poems 10:
Her tawny face was furrowed ower Like a beggar's hoggart hose.
(3) Ayr. a.1878 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage (1892) 189:
I'se hae ye by the huggars tight, 'Less ye can mak' it plain to me Hoo ye cam' by this gauderie.

2. An old sock-foot worn as a slipper or over a shoe on icy roads to prevent slipping (Ags. 1957); specif. a kind of slipper like a stocking-foot, knitted from flax rove, worn by factory workers at their work (Ags. c.1900–1957). Also in comb. hogger-fit (Rnf. 1958).Ags. 1824 Montrose Characters (1880) 59:
No leathern shoon upon his feet had he, But worsted huggers.
Ags. 1878 J. S. Neish Reminisc. 68:
Instead of shoes, worsted huggers covered his feet.

3. An old stocking-leg used as a receptacle or purse, any kind of pouch used to keep money in, e.g. a fishwife's pocket (Ags. 1920); hence, savings, a hoard (Ayr. 1836 Galt in Tait's Mag. (July) 459; Arg.1 1930, hoggan; Ags., wm.Sc. 1957).Gsw. c.1725 Stat. Acc.2 VI. 231:
He . . . threw down upon the table a large hogger stuffed to the top with coin.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 56:
I have a bit auld hogger an' some thing in't, thou's get it when I die.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xxxix.:
I hae may be a hoggar, and I ken whan I die wha sall get the gouden guts o't.
Per. 1835 J. Monteath Dunblane Trad. 76:
Your hugger and my hugger coupit intil ane, wad be sure to keep us confartable as lang's we leeve.
Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption vii.:
A' she has in the hugger may be his ain, if he'll just tak' her alang wi't.
Abd. 1891 G. W. Anderson Strathbogie 85:
My man has a hugger o' siller, My hoose is fell cosie and braw.
Arg.1 1931:
He's weel eneuch aff an' hez a good hoggar by 'um.

Hence deriv. huggerfu, a stocking-leg full, a hoard (Ayr. 1957).Sc. 1829 R. Chambers Sc. Songs I. 147:
I've a huggerfu' o' saut.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 74:
A wee callan is swappin' a soocker for a huggerfu' o' bools.

4. A short length of pipe used as a connection; “a leather or canvas delivery pipe at the top of a sinking set of pumps” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 37). Also found in n.Eng. dials.

[In O.Sc., = 1., 1666. Orig. obscure. The word may be a comb. representing ho- s.v. Hoch + ? Gaird, Gird, girr.]

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"Hogger n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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