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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

REENGE, v.1, n.1 Also reinge; ringe; rynge. See also Range. [ri:ndʒ, rɪndʒ; sm.Sc. ri:nʒ]

I. v. 1. tr. To set in order, arrange (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 143).

2. tr. To traverse, wander over (an area), travel through (Sh., ne. and m.Sc. 1968).Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 54:
He's the greatest auld rascal for reengin' the tiles.
Abd. 1882 G. Macdonald Castle Warlock vii.:
There was a fowth o' awfu' stories reengin' the cuintry.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood vii.:
I was ryngin' the hoose like a lost yowe.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 86:
Ilkie noo an again, he luikit up, his een reengin ower the smeeth sea, an skelloched, "Zeffirino! Far are ye?"

3. tr. To search (a place) widely and thoroughly, to scour, rummage through (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 143; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 261; Sh., ne. and m.Sc. 1968); also intr. with for: to hunt for, seek.Sc. 1822 A. Sutherland Cospatrick II. vii.:
Maister Jasper left the castle to ringe the Crookie.
Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 101:
An' then the reengin' for their duds.
Ags. 1893 Arbroath Guide (21 Jan.) 4:
Oor neibor was reengin' aboot the house lookin' for something.
Abd. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 44:
Gyp, reengin' roon', wis never blate At fur or feather spottin'.
m.Sc. 1932 O. Douglas Priorsford iv.:
They went ringein' through the hoose like bloodhounds.
Ags. 1946 D. Twitter Tates 46:
Mary Ann's hoose wud tempt a saint tae reenge in'd.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 45:
He gangs westlins -
the wey o the souchin wund -
reengin efter an easement
he'll never fund.
Edb. 2003:
Will you stop messing up these drawers wi yer reengin. Whit are ye reengin for?

4. tr. To clear out the ash from choking the bars of a grate and let air circulate (Cld. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ags., Fif., wm.Sc. 1968), esp. in phr. to reenge the ribs, id., prob. from the notion of going to and fro along the bars with the poker. There may however be some confusion with Reenge, v.2Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 49:
His mither . . . got up when the hens keckled reinged the ribs.
Knr. 1886 H. Haliburton Horace 59:
Come, reenge the ribs, an, let the heat Doun to oor tinglin' taes.
m.Sc. 1922 O. Douglas Ann and her Mother viii.:
She knelt before the kitchen fire, engaged in what she called “ringein' the ribs”.
Fif. 1946 J. C. Forgan Maistly 'Muchty 28:
He reenged the ribs oot wi' the poker.

5. To agitate water in order to drive fish out of their hiding places (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

6. intr. To bustle about with a great deal of noise and stir, to pace hither and thither (Sh., Bnff., Abd., wm.Sc. 1968); to roam, to rove. Also in Eng. dial. Hence reengin, ppl.adj., noisy and bustling in movement or work (Bnff., w.Sc. 1880 Jam.), robust, vigorous (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); vbl.n., crashing about, working noisily (Ib.). Deriv. reenger, ringer, a noisy, barging person (Cld. 1825 Jam.); a rover, “one who ranges about” (Cld. 1880 Jam.).Sc. 1825 Jam.:
She gangs reengin through the house like a fury.
Ayr. 1834 Galt Liter. Life II. 215:
Bid in the neebors, young and auld, As fast as ye can ringe.
Sc. 1883 J. Kennedy Poems (1920) 218:
He rampit an' reenged like a lion let loose.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 103:
He heard it [bull] reengin' in the barn.
Arg. 1914 J. M. Hay Gillespie I. vii.:
She's aye reingin' where there's a daith for the sake o' the dram.
Abd. 1920 G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 43:
A cantie aul' carle Wha'd spent a gweed while reengin' ower the hale warl'.
Sc. 1928 J. C. Horne Lan'wart Loon 21:
An' unco shapes o' men an' hizzies Were reengein' oot an' in.

7. intr. To make a clattering or rumbling noise, to resound (Cld. 1825 Jam.). Rarely tr. to move things about with a great din.Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 185:
The clachan was soon in a steer Wi' reengin at doors and at winnocks.
Sc. 1841 Whistle-Binkie 38:
[To] ringe wi' twa sticks on a sheep's-skin.
Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) R. 16:
She reinges the stules three tymes a-day.
Lnk. 1865 J. Hamilton Poems 168:
There's roarin' o' steam an' there's reengin' o' wheels.

II. n. 1. The act of setting in order, arranging (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 142); a row, file, rank (Ib.).Lnk. 1890 H. Muir Reminisc. 84:
Noo what dae ye think o' the hale reenge o' buildin.

2. Range, distance, limit, bounds, territory (ne.Sc. 1968).Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms cv. 31:
It was lice athort a' their reenge. —
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 410:
It wus fire't at short reinge.
Ags. 1945 Scots Mag. (April) 44:
She'll be in the morn gin she's within smellin' reenge o' ye.

3. A shelf, a settle (Ayr. 1880 Jam.); a semi-circular seat in church round the pulpit where the elders, or parents bringing children for baptism sat (Fif. 1825 Jam.); “the platform in front of a pulpit” (Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 261).Fif. 1860 H. Farnie Fife Coast 88:
A number of old wrinkled dames when they took their station on a Sunday in that seat near the pulpit, called the ringe.

4. A thorough search, a rummage, a tour of inspection (Kcd., e. and wm.Sc. 1968).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 142:
Gee the press-hehd a reenge, an' see gehn ye can get it.
Fif. 1954 Fife Herald (20 Oct.) 2:
She'd haen a maist rewardin' reenge through a' the stalls.

Phr.: on the reenge, On the prowl.Ags. 1990 Raymond Vettese in Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway New Writing Scotland 8: The Day I Met the Queen Mother 141:
Noo he wis back in the halflin stour wud as a drukken loon aff on the reenge.

5. A clattering, ringing noise (Cld. 1825 Jam.). Cf. I. 7. Phr. to play reenge, to make a clatter.m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 234:
It's no like lettin' a shot play reenge among blackies and sprugs.
Rnf. 1873 J. Nicholson Wee Tibbie's Garland 136:
When niest mornin' the bell play'd reenge.
Abd. 1921 Swatches o' Hamespun 20:
The “reenge” o' a wheep as 't crackit roon' the lugs o' the beastie.

[O.Fr. renge(r), (to set in) line or rank. Mid.Eng. renge, n., v., id., variants of Range. For sim. phonological development cf. Change and Cheenge.]

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"Reenge v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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