Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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JAG, n.1, v.1 Also jagg. [dʒɑg]

I. n. 1. A prickle, a thorn; something which causes a sting. Gen.Sc. Also fig. Per. c.1800  Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 248:
Then flourish, thistle, flourish fair, . . . Your jags grow aye the stranger.
Bch. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 26:
Ne'er thinkin't [cauld] ony jag or pingle.
Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 73:
Jag-arm'd nettles soon, I trow, The passer-by shall sting.
Per. 1883  R. Cleland Inchbracken 209:
Mustard had gotten a lang jag in's forepaw.

2. A prick with a sharp instrument or thorn, a sharp blow, a prod (Sc. 1825 Jam., jag(g); Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Borders 1909 Colville 174). Gen.Sc. Also fig. Cf. mod. colloq. Eng. and U.S. use = an injection, inoculation. Rnf. a.1810  R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 361:
The jags o his bristles woud tickle her.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian ix.:
Affliction may gie him a jagg, and let the wind out o' him.
Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 59:
Sae whatever bless it brag, In the hiney there's a jag.
Dmf. 1836  A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. viii.:
What's the sting of a nettle and the jag of a thorn to the scorching of eternal fire?
Kcb. 1895  Crockett Moss-Hags xxxiii.:
Ye gied Duke Wellwood's lads some most unmerciful jags aneath the ribs.
Hdg. 1903  J. Lumsden Toorle 216:
This calf-love's “speech” was hantrin “tugs”, “Nips”, “pookins”, “jags wi preens”, and “hugs”.
Ags. 1918  J. Inglis The Laird 13:
An' then the barbed wire hings me up by the breeks . . . There's gey mony jags when I'm fishin' here.

Hence jaggie, jaggy, prickly, sharp-pointed, piercing (Fif., Lth. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc.; stinging, of nettles (Ags., Fif., m.Lth., Ayr. 1959). Also fig. m.Lth. 1788  J. Macaulay Poems 146:
Tak up thy dwalling in our hearts, Nor let us fin' the jaggy smarts That absence frae thee maks!
Edb. 1843  J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie iv.:
Thou jaggy, kittly, gleg wee thing, Wha dares to brave the piercing sting, O' Scotia's thistle.
Lnk. 1877  W. Watson Poems 104:
Lang jaggy brambles, wi' brackens an' broom.
em.Sc. 1926  H. Hendry Poems 108:
Am I no' richt in saying the prood Scottish thistle Is no' jist as jaggie as what we hae kent it?

3. In pl. with the: used in sporting journalism as a nickname for any football team having Thistle in its name, e.g. Partick Thistle, Buckie Thistle.

II. v. To prick or pierce with a sharp instrument (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 281; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 30). Gen.Sc. Also fig. em.Sc. 1706  Mare of Collingtoun in Watson Choice Coll. i. 39:
Wha being late, he bade her ride, And with a Spur did jag her Side, But ay the silly Mare bade bide.
Slg. 1829  G. Wyse Orig. Poems 51:
And jag a wee: like our Scotch thistle To gar you think.
Sc. 1861  Chambers's Jnl. (9 Feb.) 84:
As the wise man says, “We'll no skirl afore the prin's jaggit us.”
Ags. 1900  M. Todd Burnside Lyrics 28:
Hooever hard The thorns o' life may jag us.
Dwn. 1913  F. E. S. Crichton Precepts Andy Saul 21:
Miss Ger'ldine . . . wud have her skirt in tatthers, an niver heed, an' maybe jag her hands forbye!
Gsw. 1950  H. W. Pryde McFlannel Family Affairs 74:
I'll stitch the seam up . . . If I jag you I'll tell you.

Hence jagger, a prickle (Fif. 1825 Jam.); a prodder, a stick pointed with a needle for prodding (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 341); jag-the-flae, -flea, a contemptuous name for a tailor. See also Jaik-jag-the-flae, s.v. Jack, n.1 Ayr. 1786  Burns Reply Trimming Ep. ii.:
Gae mind your seam, ye prick-the-louse An' jag-the-flae!

[O.Sc. jag, 1507, to pierce, phs. imit. Cf. O.Sc. dag, id., of which jag may be a palatalised variant.]

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"Jag n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/jag_n1_v1>

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