Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WHIGGAMORE, n. Also -mor, whigamore. Sc. Hist.: a Presbyterian of the 17th c., a Covenanter, orig. one of the participants in the Whiggamore Raid of 1648, when Covenanters from the West marched on Edinburgh, dispersed the Royalist party and put the Marquis of Argyll in power; later extended to mean any Covenanter, a Whig, q.v. Also attrib. Now only liter. or hist. [′ʍɪgɑmor] Sc. 1724  G. Burnet Own Times I. 43:
The south-west counties of Scotland have seldom corn enough to serve them round the year; and the northern parts producing more than they need, those in the west come in the summer to buy at Lieth the stores that come from the north: and from the word Whiggam, used in driving their horses all that drove were called the Whiggamors, and shorter the Whiggs.
Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xvii.:
The whigamore bullets ken unco discretion.
Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy xxv.:
It is na good for my health to come in the gate o' thae whigamore baillie bodies.
Sc. 1873  J. H. Burton Hist. Scot. VI. 419:
Their feat was called “the Whigamores' Raid”; and this is the first use appearing in history of a word, which in its abbreviated form of “Whig,” was destined to political service too well known to need a word of explanation.
Sc. 1886  Stevenson Kidnapped x.:
It has slashed the heads off mair Whigamores than you have toes upon your feet.
Sc. 1907  A. Lang Hist. Scot. IV. 159:
In the Parliament of 1649, the Whigamore Parliament, lay patronage was abolished.

[The orig. form of the word is in some doubt. Other O.Sc. forms are whiggamaire, 1649, whigimyre, 1654, whigmuir, 1662, whiggamer, 1679. The conjecture of Bishop Burnet in 1724 quot. is prob. correct in deriving the word from O.Sc. whig, to urge a horse on (see Whig, v.3). The expression “to whig a mere (mare)” is actually recorded in G. Blackhal Brief Narrative (1844) 163 in 1666.]

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"Whiggamore n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Apr 2019 <>



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