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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STROUNGE, adj., v. Also stro(o)nge; strunge, strunje. [strun(d)ʒ, strʌnʒ]

I. adj. 1. Harsh to the taste, rank, astringent, bitter (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 28; s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Sc. 1835 Chambers's Edb. Jnl. (13 June) 157; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., stronge, 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw.).Abd. 1880 Jam.:
Strounge bitters.
Kcd. 1868 Stonehaven Jnl. (14 May) 4:
Styes where Labour swigs Strunge Kill-the carter.
Sh. 1901 Shetland News (9 March):
Yon Scots tatties is aye strunge.
Abd. 1921:
The saying of an old mendicant when offered certain things: “Ale's strunge, eggs is rampish, I'll hae some fusky.”

2. Of persons or their demeanour: gruff, surly, sullen, morose (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; n.Sc. 1971). Also in n.Eng. dial. Hence strungely, harshly, in a sour, repellent manner, stroungenesss, gruffness (‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); stroungey, surly, sullen.Abd. c.1780 A. Watson Wee Wifeikie (1921) 7:
I hae a little housikie, A man was never strunge.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 29, 278:
Strunge intestine brangles . . . Lawyers might flyte, an' strungely fence the plea.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 120:
Rustic life; whilk gi'es my voice a stroongness Unlike the hinny o' thy vot'ries dear.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 63:
Ye stroungey jade, ye'll lie abed If Jock complains o' being ill-fed.
Ags. 1894 F. Mackenzie Cruisie Sk. v.:
Tammas an' he are unco stroonge wi' ane anither at times.
Abd. 1968 Huntly Express (8 March) 2:
He's a strunje breet nae tae lat on fa tell't 'im.

3. Of a cord or the like: stiff, not flexible or pliant.Kcd. 1921 T.S.D.C.:
The hair tippen (of a hook) is strunge oot o' the water; in the sea it's nae half sae strunge.

II. v. To be sulky, to take the huff (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.).

[Prob. a variant form of strange, now obs. in Eng. in the sense of distant, aloof. Mid.Eng. forms to correspond are straunge, stronge, stro(u)nger (stranger), and cf. also e.Fr. and Walloon dial. étroinge, etc., strœgne, “farouche.” The phonological development is not altogether clear.]

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"Strounge adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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