Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GANG, v., n. See also Gan and Gae, v.

I. v. Forms: inf. and pr.t. gang, gaung; †gong (s.Sc. 1836 Wilson's Tales of the Borders II. 130); gyang (ne.Sc.), see also Dyang; geng, gaing, geeng, ‡gying, gyong (I.Sc.); ging (mostly ne.Sc.). The v. is defective, the pa.t. and pa.p. being provided by Gae, v., q.v. The form gangit (Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 9) is exceptional. [Sc. gɑŋ, em.Sc. g:ŋ, ne.Sc. + gjɑŋ, gɪŋ, Sh. g(j)ɛŋ, g(j)iŋ, Ork. gjɔŋ ] Usages, in most cases interchangeable with the usages of Gae, q.v.:

i. To go, move, depart. Gen.Sc., but obsol. in Cai. Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 265:
Never say go, but gang. . . . If you would have it well done, go yourself.
Ayr. 1786  Burns To a Mouse vii.:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men Gang aft agley.
Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality v.:
If ye be of our ain folk, gang na up the pass the night for your lives.
Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 11:
An' Peggy Pret wus tae gang atween the lethy an' the men, an' bear her orders tae them. [p. 54 has gong.]
Abd. 1936  D. Bruce Cried on Sunday 12:
Bit ye widna need aye te ging by fut yer fadder said.

Ppl.adj. ganging, moving; in (good) working order. Also as vbl.n. = gangin graith (Sc. 1880 Jam.); see Graith, n., 4. Gsw. 1713  Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 512:
To leave the same at the ish and expiration of the said tack in a good and ganging order.
Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 8:
He could, by Euclid, prove lang sine A ganging point compos'd a line.
Sc. 1802  Scott Minstrelsy I. 51:
Gude four and twenty ganging mills.

ii. To walk, go on foot (Sh., Abd., Fif., Peb., Lnk., Ayr. 1954). Vbl.n. gangin(g), gengin', walking, gait. Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 26:
A Bairn must creep ere it gang.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 33:
This night I maun be hame afore I sleep, Gin ganging winna do't piece I sud creep.
Sc. 1808  Jam.:
Do ye gang, or ride?
Bnff. 1823  in G. Greig Folk-Song (1914) xlviii.:
It's but my silly bower woman That's gangin' in her sleep.
Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 7:
An' his feet wur sair mittled wi' gangin'.
Edb. 1916  J. Fergus Sodger 20:
He got shaughly in his gangin', tho' ye couldna ca' it lame.
Sh. 1931  Manson's Shet. Almanac 185:
Dey wir been hale fower weddin's i' da place, an' my shanks . . . wisna free o' complainin' a grain wi' sae muckle gengin' an' dancin'.

iii. In comb.: A. with advs. or preps.: 1. gang-about, n., a hawker(Sc. 1900 E.D.D.; Ork.5, Ayr.8 1954); cf. B. 7.; 2. gang aff, (1) to be wasted, squandered (Abd.2 1948); (2) to die; 3. gang awa', to faint, swoon (Ags., Ayr.8 1954); †also of the heart: to fail; cf. Awa', adv., 4. (2); 4. gang by oneself, (1) to be beside oneself, to go off one's head, to go mad (Abd.27 1954); cf. similar phr. s.v. Gae, v., V.; (2) to exceed oneself, to go beyond bounds, esp. in generosity. Usually ironical; 5. gang forrit, see Forrit; 6. gang in, (1) in gerundial comb. gangeen-in, an entrance (Rxb.5 1954); (2) with wi', to thrust in (‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); 7. gang into, to open and search through (a bag, drawer, trunk, etc.); 8. gang ower, n., a scolding (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.); 9. gang throw, (1) to waste, to spend carelessly or recklessly (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh. (-trow), Ork., Abd., Ags., Slg., Fif., Edb., Kcb., Rxb. 1954); (2) to bungle (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.), hence gangthro', adj., bungling, reckless; †10. gang to, of the sun: to set (Sc. 1825 Jam.), hence gangin-to, the setting of the sun (Ib.); 11. gang together, to get married (Abd.27 1954, ging thegither); †12. gang wi', “to break down, as a fence, gate, etc.” (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.), fig. to destroy, make away with (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.); 13. gang with, see Wuth. Several of the above are similarly compounded with Gae, v., q.v. 2. (1) Rnf. 1813  E. Picken Poems I. 64:
Sae the fear is It a gang aff for whigmaleeries.
(2) Sc. 1826  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1863) I. 138:
When the jowlers tear him [fox] to pieces, he shows fecht, and gangs aff in a snarl. Hoo could he dee mair easier?
3. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 74:
She says my heart is like to gang awa', An' I maun e'en sit down, or else I'll fa'.
Ags. 1953 18 :
I'm like tae gang awa in a dwam.
4. (1) Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxv.:
Tibbie was like to gang by hersel' at the tynin' o' her creel.
Abd. 1898  J. R. Imray Sandy Todd ix.:
Gin ye gang on this gate . . . I'll gang by mysel' a'thegither.
(2) Abd. 1954 30 :
Watch an nae ging by yoursel! A feel an his siller's easy pairtit!
6. (1) Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 20:
Duist at the gangeen-in ti the village . . . a muckle great, big hivvy motor-laarrie cam snorkin an dunnerin bye.
(2) Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B. 143:
A've seen 'im put on his auld bauchles an' gang in wi' his hands ti gumph troot.
7. Abd. 1953 27 :
Ging intil ma purse and ye'll get a half-croon.
9. (2) Abd. 1882  W. Forsyth Writings 20:
To change folks' ways, and help to men' The gangthro' gate the warld's takin'.
11. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 85:
For it ungangs me sair gin at the last, To gang together binna found the best.
Sh. 1886  J. Burgess Sk. and Poems 73:
Whin twa gengs tagedder, der wan, so, ye see, dat comes ta be a savin'.
12. Lth. 1825 ,
,
Jam.:
He'll sune gang wi' his fortune.

B. Other Phrs. and Combs.: 1. ganging fit, wanderlust; cf Gae, v., B. I., 1721 quot.; †2. gangand-gait, n., “the foot-path of a public road; also, the foot-path through fields to a farm house: so called to distinguish them from the cart or carriage way or gait” (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.); 3. gang by haul, see Haud, n.; 4. gang done, to become used up, to come to an end (ne.Sc. 1954). Cf. Gae, v., V. 4.; 5. gang doon the house, see quot. to 22. (Ayr.8, Kcb.10 1954); 6. gang frae milk, of a cow: to cease to give milk (Ayr.8 1954); 7. gangin' body, a beggar, vagrant (Lnk.1, Rxb.4 1954); also gangin'-aboot —; 8. gangin(g) graith. seee Graith, n., 4.; †9. gangin' man, = 7.; 10. ganging of the marches, the Riding of the Marches (see quot.); †11. ganging plea, “a permanent or hereditary process in a court of law” (Sc. 1825 Jam.); 12. gang lie, to go to bed (Kcb.10 1954); 13. gang one's (ain) gate (gait), see Gate; 14. gang one's wa(y)s, — wa', to go, go one's way; to take oneself off, go away (Sh., Abd., Ags., Fif. 1954); 15. gang oot amang folk, to go out to private houses as charwoman, washerwoman. etc. (Ork., Abd., Ayr.81954), ‡as a midwife (Abd. 1954); †16. gang out o' one's self, to become distraught (Cld. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1900 E.D.D.); 17. gang owre the mairch, see Mairch; ¶18. gang south, to be swallowed, lit. and fig.; 19. gang tae pot, see Pot; †20. gang-there-out, adj., vagabond, vagrant; 21. gang to the gait, see Gate: 22. Gang up the house, see quot. (Ayr.8 1954). 1. Sc. 1948  A. M. MacKenzie Sc. Pageant 1513–1625 297:
Catholic religion, or merely the ganging fit, took him abroad while he was in his teens.
4. Fif. 1806  A. Douglas Poems 168:
The Hiney-Moon will ne'er gang done, If guidit weel an' a' that.
Ags. 1848  Feast of Literary Crumbs (1891) 49:
Gude Sakes! that coat will ne'er gang dune!
6. Per. 1883  R. Cleland Inchbracken xxx.:
There's ane o' my kye like to gang frae her milk.
7. Edb. 1884  R. F. Hardy Jock Halliday ii.:
I am a kind of “gangin'-aboot body.” as they say in the north country, and my business does as well in one place as another.
Sh. 1916  J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr, Aapril 28:
A gengin body's böts is aye needin half-soles.
em.Sc. 1920  J. Black Airtin' Hame 140:
Judging seemingly by . . . his travel-stained appearance that he was merely a “gangin' bodie.”
Sc. 1929  Scots Mag. (Feb.) 341:
Ye're a' richt fer a gangin' buddy like me, but no' fer onything else.
9. Lnk. 1895  W. C. Fraser Whaups of Durley xiii.:
A gangin' man cam' here seekin' meat and a nicht's rest in the barn.
10. Peb. 1924  Kelso Chron. (27 June) 4:
Peebles on Saturday celebrated the march riding and Beltane Queen Festival. . . . The march riding, or “ganging of the marches,” to use the old phrase, is a relic of the more modern times.
11. Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary ii.:
A ganging plea that my father left me, and his father afore left to him.
Sc. 1933  E. Haldane Scot. of our Fathers 43:
The Scot is by nature litigious . . . and if there is any occasion for a “ganging plea” he is too ready to take advantage of it and face the consequences, which are often serious financially.
12. Kcb. 1896  A. J. Armstrong Kirkiebrae 42:
Ye can juist gang lie an' dream on the contents o' that ane, for ye'll get nae mair the nicht.
Gall. 1902  A. E. Maxwell Lilts 16:
Noo Maggie, come yer ways, gang lie, Ye'll sleep real cosie, warm and bien.
Kcb. c.1916 6 :
It's time tae gang lie.
14. Sc. 1823  J. G. Lockhart Reg. Dalton I. 194:
Troth, if ye've been waiting for the bishop, ye may e'en gang your wa's hame again now.
ne.Sc. 1830  J. Grant Kcd. Trad. 29:
“Now gang your wa',” the auld laird said.
Kcb. 1893  Crockett Stickit Minister 148:
Then he gangs his wa's in, as he does every nicht.
Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick iv.:
Gang your ways hame, Jims my man, an' hae a bit crack ower 't wi' the mistress.
Bnff. 1930 2 :
Gang yir wa's eynoo, an' come back the morn aboot twal'.
15. Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid ii.:
Does your wife gang oot amang folk?
16. s.Sc. 1912  Rymour Club Misc. II. 196:
That story 'ill no' gang south.
20. Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. i.:
I daurna for my life open the door to ony o' your gang-there-out sort o' bodies.
Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
We gang-there-out Hieland bodies are an unchancy generation when you speak to us o' bondage.
22. Uls. 1880  Patterson Gl.:
Gang up the hous'. Go on to the best room or parlour, i.e. when the parlour is up a step from the passage or outer room. In some farmhouses, where the parlour is down a step, the expression used is “gang doon the hous' an mine the step.”

II. n. Also geng, gaing, gjang (Sh.), geong (Ork.), †genge, †gawng; ging.

1. Gait, style of walking (Ayr.8, Rxb.4 1954). Also fig. = one's way or pace of life. Slk. 1818  Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xii.:
“Didna ye a' think it was unco like him?” “The very man! — the very man! — his make, his gang, his claes, an' every thing.”
Per. 1825  Jam.:
He has a gude gang, he goes at a good pace.
Dmf. 1894  R. Reid Poems 198:
I kent it was nane but the laddie I socht, in pairt by his lassie-like gang.
Fif. 1905  “S. Tytler” Daughter of the Manse iv. ii.:
Do not seek to change your “gang” when you're mid-way through life.

2. (1) A journey, a trip on an errand (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; e.Dmf.2 1933; Slg.3, Lnk. 1954, rare). Used esp. in Sh. of a journey from the peat-bog when carrying home the dried peats on horseback. Also used coll. Ork. 1774  P. Fea MS. Diary (4 Jan.):
The most that they could do being 8 gang a day.
n.Sc. 1808  Jam.:
A fer geng, a long journey, or a long walk.
Sh. 1866  Edm. Gl.:
Gang of peats. A number of ponies loaded with peats; each trip is a “gang.”
Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
Foo mony gjang is de horses been at de “bank” for peats? Hurro for my hoitin (or hidmost) gjang!

(2) The amount that can be carried on one journey, a load, a freight, esp. of water: a gang of water, two pailfuls (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 218; Cai.7, Ags.18, Arg.1, Rnf., Lnk., Ayr.8 1954); jocularly, a service of liquor. Also used coll. Dmf. 1775  Dmf. Weekly Mag. (7 Feb.):
This farm is six miles from Dumfries, six from Lockerby, and so nigh Closeburn, where there is plenty of good lime, that they may bring two gangs a-day.
Gall. 1784  A. Wight Husbandry III. 60:
Then I tasked them to the number of loads, or gangs, as they are called here.
Lnk. 1853  W. Watson Poems 103:
Tho' whiles, to keep the steam at par, A gang be needet frae the bar.
Ayr. 1870  J. K. Hunter Life Studies xliv.:
A “gang o' pap-in” was the order, which meant a wee gill o' whisky.
Sc. 1874  A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 310:
“How many bottles o' whisky have they used, Betty”? “I dinna ken, mem; but they've drucken sax gang o' watter!”
Rnf. 1876  D. Gilmour Paisley Weavers ii.:
We were . . . sent to bring one, or perhaps two “gang” of water from a well two or three streets off.
Ags. 1889  Barrie Tillyloss Scandal 12:
I was carrying a ging of water frae Susie Linn's pump.
Gsw. 1898  D. Willox Poems & Sk. 15–16:
The water supply was, however, augmented by Mr Honeyman, who carted the Clyde water from the water works in Springfield Road to Parkhead, and retailed it at a farthing a “stoup,” a wooden vessel which held about six gallons, or a halfpenny a “gang,” which held double the amount.
Dmf. 1917  J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 173:
As watter'll no rise abune its ain level, an' as The Knowe is higher than the reservoir, ye'll ha'e to cairry it in gangs frae the Grennan.

3. A pasture (Abd., Ags., Ayr. 1954); †the right of pasturing. Specif.: the pasture on a farm allotted to cows (Kcb.10 1954); a certain stretch of ground on a hill-side over which a flock of sheep grazes (Peb., s.Sc. 1954). Also used fig. Abd. 1777  Aberdeen Journal (3 March):
The Privileges and Pasturage of it are extensive, and makes one of the driest and best Sheep Gangs in the Country, and capable to maintain Two hundred Head daily.
Sc. 1808  Jam.:
The haill gang, the whole extent of pasture. A fine gang, an excellent pasture.
Sc. 1820  Scott Monastery xviii.:
The gang of two cows and a palfrey on Our Lady's meadow.
Sc. 1829  G. Robertson Recollections 176:
There was some wild, or uncultivated land, to which this species of stock [sheep], next to milch cows, was the best adapted to the gang.
Dmf. 1832  Carlyle in
Froude Early Life (1882) II. 269:
However, by degrees I got hefted again, and took obediently to the gang and the gear.
Ayr. 1847  J. Paterson (ed.) Ballads and Songs (1st Series) 101:
For she's whyles in the house, an' her gang's no that birthy.
s.Sc. 1857  H. S. Riddell Psalms xxiii. 2:
He mak's me til lye doun in green an' baittle gangs; he leeds me asid the quæet waters.
Lnk. 1882  Songs and Ballads Cld. (ed. Nimmo) 167:
I haena mony gifts to gie, My gang's been rather bare.
Dmf. 1912  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo xii.:
There was grass o' the best and sweetest and sourocks and daisies — juist sic a gang as wad hae delighted the hert o' ony ordinary sensible coo.

4. (1) A passage, thoroughfare (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), gang; Abd., Ayr., Slk. 1954), the passage between the stalls in a cow-shed (Abd., Ayr. 1954); comb. †gang-way, a foot-path, either that of a public road or one through fields to a farm-house (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.); also in Eng. dial.; a thoroughfare (Patterson); †(2) a gangway; †(3) “the channel of a stream, or course in which it is wont to run; a term still used by old people” (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Hence gang water, water supplied by the normal flow of a stream to a mill, or the like, without the use of a dam (ne.Sc. 1954). Also fig. = (enough money for) the bare necessaries of life (Abd.2 1949). (1) Uls. 1880  Patterson Gl.:
Oh, we live right in the gangway.
(2) Lnk. 1890  J. Coghill Poems 85:
Three skids at a stride up the gang.
(3) Abd. 1875  W. Alexander My Ain Folk 99:
Pit the lave o' that siller in'o the Savin' Bank, to be gyang water to ye at anither time.
Bnff. 1910 3 :
“Oh, he has just gang water, nae mair”, i.e. his means are just enough to keep him going, sufficient for his daily needs.

5. (1) A certain quantity, a “lot” or “set,” e.g “a set of horse-shoes” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); (2) specif.: “the number of persons that work together in delving” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). (1) Inv. 1720  Hammerman Incorp. Minutes MS. (22 Nov.):
George Sutherland has presented Essay it being a genge of hors shows.
Gsw. 1738  Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 496:
¥2, 12s. Scots for a sett or gang of coggs to the old wheel.
ne.Sc. 1771  I. F. Grant Old Highland Farm (1924) 174:
“A gang of spokes” [for a wheel] which is 18s. 6d.
(2) Sh. 1914  Angus Gl.:
Twa geng a spades.

6. (1) A row (of loops or strands) in knitting, plaiting or weaving (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., geng; Sh., Ork., Cai., 1953); (2) a layer, esp. of corn sheaves when built in a cart or stack (I., n., em.Sc., Ayr. 1954). Cf. heart-gang s.v. Hert, IV., easin'-gang s.v. Easin; a layer of herrings packed in a barrel; (3) a drill, furrow, “a single row, dug by spade, across a cultivated patch of land” Sh. 1909 Jak. (1928)). Cf. 5. (2). (1) Sc. 1700  Edb. Gazette (April 1):
A black Silk Chagrin Petticoat with 4 gang of fine Taisel Fringes.
Sc. 1776  Weaver's Index 104:
Suppose the warp and yarn given, to find the number of Gawngs in the Web.
Sh. 1906  T. P. Ollason Spindrift 69:
Peggy was seated in front of the hearth, intently counting the rise gaings on a ten score hap, all unconscious of his presence.
Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
A geng o' loops; to mak' a geng upon a sock, hap, flakki, kessi.
Ork. 1922  J. Firth Reminisc. 34:
When signs of tear and wear began to show along the top geong (the row of straw finishing the upper edge).
(2) Sc. 1785  J. Knox View Brit. Emp. 263:
The best middling sort of herrings, which are to be put into a barrel, and made use of by the packers for the upper gangs.
Sc. 1814  J. Sinclair Report Agric. I. 391:
He continues to lay on circular layers or gangs of sheaves, their butts all outwards.
Bnff. 1926 4 :
Pit anither gang o shaves roon yer cairt.
Abd. 1950  Buchan Observer (12 Sept.):
Keep the best sheaves for the hearting, or the interior gangs, while those of somewhat doubtful order go into the outer walls of the rick.
(3) Sh. 1899  Shet. News (29 April):
Doo's da haand fir borin even gengs, Bawby. Dis ane is been laid aff wi' a line shurely!
Sc. 1954  Scotsman (24 Nov.) 2:
Tractor implements. . . . Hay Sweep, 3-Gang Roller, Harrows.

[O.Sc. has gang, v., from 1375, ging, c.1540, n., 2. (1), 1552, (2), from 1560, 3., 1533, 5. (1), from 1564, gangand graith, 1485; Mid.Eng. gang, walk, gang, passage, gangen, to go; O.E. gang, going, gait, path, etc.; gangan, to walk, go, proceed. In Mid.Eng. no traces remain of the pa.t. and pa.p. and the use of the v. was restricted and finally supplanted by go (O.E. gān) exc. in northern dialects.]

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"Gang v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/gang>

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