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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).

RIG, n.2, v.2 Also rigg, reeg. Sc. usages of slang or colloq. Eng. rig, sport, a trick, prank, in phrs.: 1. in a rig, in an uproar (Ags. 1954); 2. on the rig, out for fun or mischief, on the randan; 3. to gang one's rigs, to indulge in wild riotous behaviour. Also in n.Eng. dial; 4. to gie (one) a rig, to scold, berate; 5. to kick up a rig, = 8.; 6. to lead one a rig, to lead one on a piece of mischief, to set one on a frolic; 7. to play a rig on, -the rig wi', -one a rig, to hoax, have fun with, make sport of; 8. to raise a rig, to create an uproar; 9. to run a rig on, = 7. Also in Eng. slang; 10. to run one's or the rig(s), -riggie, to run riot, to misconduct oneself, to go on a frolic. Also in Eng. slang. Hence to run one a rig, to beguile, play a trick on; rinrig, a wile, stratagem, deep-laid scheme (Ayr. 1825 Jam.), with a pun on run-rig s.v. Rin, v., 1. (2); 11. to tak the rig, id.1. Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 19:
D'ye mind o' the rook the bodies kickit up at Maister Gleig's nordination? A gie rig the Schule Wynd was in that day.
2. Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 31:
In that champaign ye fought wi' her When on the rig.
Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 18:
Ae Setterday nicht that I wis awa' on the rig.
Bnff.7 1925:
“I'm gyain' on the rig the nicht”, used by farm-servants when going sweethearting.
3. Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong R. Rankine 34:
Geordie's gaun his rigs but he'll no need to try ower mony o' thae pranks.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 11:
Hei is gaun eis reegs.
4. Dmf. c.1885 A. Marchbank Covenanters of Annandale 82:
A bonnie rig she gaed him.
5. Per. 1897 R. M. Fergusson Village Poet 154:
Kickin' up a cursed rig.
6. Dmf. 1822 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 575:
Deil a doit care ye for a splore. Come alang, Sam, and I'll lead ye a rigg.
7. Bwk. 1869 P. Landreth Fastern's E'en 33:
Fearing that the Creelers meant, as he said, to “play the rig wi' him”.
Ags. 1895 J. Smith Hame-Spun Rhymes 93:
To nae let them play you a rig.
Abd. 1958 Huntly Express (7 Feb.):
Someane's played a rig on ye.
8. Nai. 1828 W. Gordon Poems 269:
They jumpit, they thumpit, and rais'd sic a rig.
9. Gall. 1796 J. Lauderdale Poems 99:
I'll gi'e the saucy loon a whiskin Wha ran the rigs sae sair on Erskine.
Rxb. a.1860 J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 93:
Ye cripplet deevil, have ye been rinnin' the rig ona me again?
Ags. 1893 Brechin Advertiser (10 Oct) 3:
It seems Sir John Rigby is comin' to rin the rigg on the buddies o' Thrums.
10. Slg. 1792 G. Galloway Poems 74:
To cure my acking head I took a pot, Wednesday morn by day (wild riggs I ran,) Off came my coat and shirt, and away to pawn.
Sc. 1818 Lockhart Scott xlii.:
One's fancy may be running its ain riggs in some other world.
Lnk. 1873 A. G. Murdoch Doric Lyre 57:
If we dinna rin the riggie ‘Twill e'en be odd.
Per. 1890 Scots Mag. (Jan. 1956) 281:
Sandy Tamson's Sunday wig Left the hoose tae rin the rig.
Dmb. 1899 J. Strang Lass of Lennox ix.:
He'll rin her a fine rig yet, I'm thinkin', an' serve her richt.
Kcb. 1903 Crockett Banner of Blue ii.:
If your brother runs the rig like this, you'll find yourself heir to Castle Gower some fine morning before long!
Per. 1904 R. Ford Hum. Sc. Stories (Ser. 2) 26:
He has run the rigs wi' Maggie Anderson.
11. wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 153:
She [cow] took the rig, an' got it [a broken leg] jumping the style to the stooks.

II. v. To play a trick on, to befool, tease, torment (Cld. 1880 Jam.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 263; Wgt. 1968). Also in slang or colloq. Eng.

[Orig. obscure.]

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"Rig n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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