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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

JEEGLE, v., n. Also jegil, gig(g)le. Sc. forms of Eng. jiggle. [dʒigl]

I. v. To shake lightly or rapidly (Sh., ne. and em.Sc.(a), Gall., Uls. 1959); “to make a jingling noise” (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also reduplic. form jeggle-jaggle, “to waver to and fro in order to save oneself from a fall” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).Sc. 1887 Jam.:
I canna write if ye jeegle the table sae.
Lnk. 1893 T. Stewart Among the Miners 7:
He's aye jeeglin' awa' at the loom yet, an' likely wull tae the last.
Ant. 1931 North. Whig (11 Dec.) 13:
Stop jeegling money in your pocket . . . stop jeegling the table.

Hence jeegly, gigly, adj., “unsteady, shaky, likely to be upset or overturned” (Sc. 1887 Jam.; ne. and em.Sc.(a), Ayr., Uls. 1959). Also used adv. (Sc. 1887 Jam., jeegly).

II. n. 1. The creaking sound made e.g. by the hinges of a door when opened or a chair when sat upon (Sc. 1825 Jam., jeegle, jegil; Kcb.4 1900).

2. A slight jerk, shake or rattle (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Abd. 1959). Phr.: to take the giggle-trot, see quot. It is uncertain whether this phr. belongs here.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
A woman who marries, when she is far advanced in life, is said to tak the giggle-trot.

[A dim. or freq. form of Jeeg, v. 3.]

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



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