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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

OWERGANG, v.. n. Also owr(e)-, o(e)r-, ore-, -geng (Sh.). In v. in pres.t. only. See Gang, v. and Owergae. [v. ʌu(ə)r′gɑŋ, n. ′ʌu(ə)rgɑŋ]

I. v. 1. To overwhelm, oppress, be too much for, to master, dominate (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1964); to bully. Ppl.adj. owergengin, -gangin, unruly, domineering (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928)).Sc. 1706 J. Watson Choice Coll. i. 56:
First, I am awing to Andro Rid . . . Five Shilling, for the which indeed He and his Wife o'regangs me.
Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 80:
What e'er come of the Pack, Spend ay the other Plack, And let ne'er your Gear o'ergang you.
Ayr. 1795 Burns O, Ay My Wife i.:
If ye gie a woman a' her will, Guid faith! she'll soon o'ergang ye.
Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 123:
Wha e'er wad thought our dairy wenches, Wad gar their heads o'ergang their hainches.
Abd. 1898 J. Milne Poems in Abd. Dial. 35:
Ill-deedie fowk wud aye owre-gang yo, Though they saw yo failt an' deen.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 148:
What ither haunt or howff hae we When warld's cares owregang us?
Sh.12 1964:
If a number of people are carrying peats to a stack-stead the one who is building up the peats has to be pretty active or else “he [the stack] wid owergeng”, i.e. get out of control.

2. To elapse, of time (Sc. 1808 Jam.).

3. To overgrow, overspread.Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 145:
When horns and hair owergang the man, There's little hope o' the creature than.

4. To exceed, excel, surpass (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Sh., w.Lth., Rxb. 1964), to outrun.Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 68:
The pains o'ergang's the profit.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 223:
Ne'er let your hope o'ergang your days, For eild and thraldom never stays.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xxxv.:
The outlay I thought as likely to o'ergang the profit.
Dmf. 1873 A. Anderson Song of Labour 77:
He's a deil o' a wean — what ava can he mean? Lod, he'll ow'r-gang us a' yet, an' that'll be seen.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (7 May):
Da cost wid owergeng da honour.
Rxb. 1914 Kelso Chron. (6 Feb.):
Ye shouldna let uncanny greed Owre gang the profit.

5. To oversee, superintend (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.). Hence ourganger, an overseer, director of a band of workmen (Ib.).

II. n. 1. A going-over, the application of something to a surface, as a brush, rake, etc., a coat of paint or the like (Sh., ne.Sc., Kcb. 1964); also fig. a drubbing, dressing down (Id.).Abd. 1957 People's Jnl. (7 Dec.):
The hoose door an' a' the flagstanes hid gotten a gweed owergang wi' chalk.

2. The vertical ropes that go over the top of a corn-stack (Kcb. 1964). Also attrib. Cf. Owergae, 1. Phrs.Wgt. 1960:
An ower-gang rope is one used to tie down a stack.

3. Superintendence, direction (Sc. 1887 Jam.); the person who superintends (Ib.). Cf. v., 5.

[Ower- + Gang, n., v.]

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"Owergang v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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