Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLEG, Clegg, Cleig, Kleg(g), Gleg, n.1 The gad-fly, Tabanus lineola. Marw. (1929) gives the form klegg for Ork., and Cai.7 1940 gives cleig. Gen.Sc. Formerly also in St.Eng. but now only dial. Cf. Clag, n.2 [klɛg Sc., but ne.Sc., Ags., Edb., Lnl. + glɛg; kleig Cai.] Abd.(D) 1915  H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 90:
Peter wis tae herd them [the cattle] till the glegs began.
m.Sc. 1870  J. Nicholson Idylls o' Hame 10:
Whaur the midges mazy dance, Clegs dart oot the fiery lance.
Rnf. 1815  W. Finlayson Simple Sc. Rhymes 15:
Or talk a simmer-day on klegs An' beetle clocks.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 169:
A spirit of restlessness, like the bizzing of the midges and cleggs in the simmer time, seemed to be in the air.
Wgt. 1887  G. Fraser Sketches, etc., of Wgt. 380:
The rustic had not proceeded far when down came the scaffolding, leaving Geordie hanging on by the wall, like a cleg on a cow's side.

[O.Sc. cleg, gleg, a horse-fly, first date c.1420 (D.O.S.T.), O.N. kleggi, id. (Zoëga), from Gmc. root *kli-, to stick.]

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"Cleg n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Dec 2018 <>



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