Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GIG, n.1, v.1 Also gigg, geeg. [gɪg]

I. n. 1. A whim; a frolic, joke. Also in w.Yks. dial. Sc. 1727  Ramsay T.T.Misc. (1733) III. 321:
They put a gigg in the gravest scull, And send their wits to gather wool.
Ayr. 1790  A. Tait Poems 236:
The merry gigs to which she's bred, There's none activer in their trade.

2. “A curiosity; a charm” (Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems, Gl.); “an ingenious artifice” (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Bnff.4 1927); “a trick, device” (Cld. 1880 Jam.). Also giggum (emphatic) and dim. giggie (Gregor). Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 61:
Nane o' yir gigs wee me. Y' needna try thim; for a winna tack thim aff o' yir han'.

Hence giggie, adj., “full of tricks” (Ib.).

II. v. 1. To quiz, play tricks (Dmf. 1825 Jam., geeg, gig).

2. In ppl.adj. gigit, -et, “elated with the novelty of a thing” (Uls. 1874 N. & Q. (5th Series) II. 98); “stumbling about, making foolish movements and gestures” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); “acting or speaking in a silly way, foolish” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.).

[Origin unknown, but phs. onomat. Cf. obs. Eng. gig, something that whirls; an oddity; fun.]

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"Gig n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <>



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