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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

JINGO-RING, n., v. Also jing-go-ring, jing-a-ring (Fif. 1897 S. Tytler Lady Jean's Son iv.), jing-ga-ring, ging-; jingo-ringle (Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 61). [′jɪŋ ə′rɪŋ; ′jɪŋgo′rɪŋ]

I. n. A children's singing game in which the players join hands and dance round one of their number, singing the song the first verse of which is cited below. A full version of the song and details of the game are given in A. B. Gomme Trad. Games (1894) I. 369–376). Gen.Sc. Cf. Merry-ma-tanzie, id. Also used fig.Gsw. c.1835 Whistle-Binkie (1846) 66:
And hand in hand they jink about, Like weans at jingo-ring.
Lnk. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 268:
Here we go the jingo-ring, About the merry-ma-tanzie.
Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Flights 251:
Wi' their hey-jing-go-ring and their through-the-needle-e'e.
Edb. 1869 J. Smith Poems 35:
An' blithe it flew on sunny wing Wi' paips, an' bools, an' jingo-ring.
Sc. 1908 Gsw. Ballad Club III. 168:
But here comes Spring, To set the tune, to start anew God's jingo-ring!
Arran 1914 Bk. of Arran II. 303:
A circle was formed round the churn much the same as “ging-go-ring”.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 129:
Why do the wee folk Dance an' sing, An' gae roon aboot In a jingo-ring.
Cai. 1948 Neil M. Gunn The Shadow (1989) 68:
I put a toe in. Lace-curtain bubbles go round in a jingaring behind the boulder.
Ags. 1997 Chloe Macdonald 'The Moosie an' the Poosie', Poems by pupils at Meigle Primary School, Perthshire ( :
Said the moosie tae the poosie
Let me in your wee, sma' hoosie.
We will play
And we will sing,
And we will dance the Jingo-Ring.
Dundee 2001 Elphinstone Newsletter ( :
The photo to the right depicts Dundee jute strikers playing 'jingo-ring', a popular children's game at the turn of the century. In Dundee, the jingo-ring was also a popular strike custom that contributed to the distinctly carnivalesque nature of jute strikes.

Phr. to gang throw the jingoring, of cattle: to be sold at a lower figure than was orig. paid for them in the sale ring through failure in tuberculin tests or the like (Abd. 1959).

II. v. To dance jingo-ring; to encircle as though dancing “jingo-ring”. Also fig. Per. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 158:
Here a fairy band of bluebells Jingo-ring an ancient boulder.
ne.Sc. 1914 G. Greig Folk-Song cxxxiv.:
An' they ging-a-ringit roon aboot like sheelicks roon a riddle.
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 30:
Oh, the thochts jing-ga-ringin' through ma brain
As ye de-frost the scones.

[A reduplicative form based on Jing, n.2 + ring.]

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"Jingo-ring n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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