A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Lug, n. Also: luge, lugg(e; logg, loge; loug(e, lowg; looge; luig(e, luidge. [Orig. Sc., also north. e.m.E. (1624) lugg (of a pan); and appearing also in e.m.E. (1592–1659) as a slang synonym of ‘ear’. Of Scand. origin, in an original sense of ‘something that can be pulled or laid hold of, an appendage’: cf. Sw. lugg forelock, and Lug v.] Not in the earliest sources, in which the word for ‘ear’ is Ere. The older use may have been as sense 1, sense 2 being a later colloquial sense-transference, or, alternatively, sense 2 may have existed earlier but remained unrecorded as a purely colloquial use. With this word the sense ‘the ear as an appendage of the head’, ‘the external ear’ is the usual one, the sense ‘the ear as organ of hearing’ being uncommon and late, whereas with Ere both these senses are common throughout the Older Sc. period.

1. A flap (or ? the peak) of a cap or bonnet; a flap (or ? the tongue) of a shoe. Fra Henry Cant, ij cappis wyth luggis, price xxxvj s.; 1494 Treas. Acc. I. 225.
Euyrie scheiphird hed ane horne spune in The lug of there bonet; Compl. 43/3.
Johne Ogiluye cordaner … denyit that he mendit onye schone bott onle wes peirssing the lugeis of ane pair schone; 1623 Perth Kirk S. MS. 25 Sept.

2. The ear of a human, as part of the body. Freq. with reference to the cutting off (the whole or part of), nailing, or burning, the ear as a legal penalty, and in other references (including, frequently, threats) to the cutting or pulling of a person's ears. Hingaris at (for) luggis, ear-rings: see Hingar n. 2 (in Suppl.). Lug-wyres, ? id. Pyke-lug, an ear-pick: see Pike-. An apparent early example is the personal name ‘Michael blaklug’ (1457 Aberd. B. Rec. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 132), ‘Michael blakluggis’ (1470 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. 49). (1) The tarsall gaif him tug for tug A stanchell hang in ilka lug; Dunb. xxxiii. 82.
Ane nobill kaip [= cap] imperiell, Quhilk is … ordanit … for … kingis, For princely and imperiall Fulis, Thay sowld have luggis als lang as mvlis; Lynd. Sat. 4559.
Calling him [the minister] commone pulpet flitter … and saing he bat Freyr Andro Mc Neyll luge; 1561 Inverness Rec. I. 59.
The flesche … to be cuttit in pecis, and distribute amang Thame, that ane sould get a lug, another ane arme; Hamilton Cath. Tr. 47.
His luggs baith lang and leane [T. lasie] quha can hut lacke, That to the trone hes tane so many a take? Polwart Flyt. 544 (H).
Lousie [T. Laisie] lugges; Id.
Ib. 749 (H).
He schew thy [a witch's] mark vnder thy left lug; 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 133.
Ane aigit woman with a sheir clippit ane lock of his quhit hair abune his lug; Trial Isobel Inch 6.
1632–3 Justiciary Cases I. 204.
He stroakes his beard and rubs his chin And clawes his luggs; 1681 Cleland 105.
Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 42 (see Lundering vbl. n.).
Te man's lang whip … Made crack apout her eyn An hat her lugs wit sic a phisk [etc.]; c 1700 Fugitive Poetry II. xli. 93.
proverbs Better sua, nor under the lug with a pund stane; Carmichael Prov. No. 373.
Ye wald tyne baith your lugs and they were louse; Ib. No. 1839.
(2) To be scurgeit to the gallows and thair his lug takkit to the beame; 1515 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 159.
Vnder the pane of cutting of his lug; 1530 Ib. II. 27.
Syne cutt thair luggis that ȝe may knaw Thir peddir knavis be burges men; Pedder C. 71.
Quhat ever tha be that makis fyr in the Ellon salbe punist with ane nale in his luge; 1557 Inverness Rec. I. 8.
That thay incontinent remufe thame selffis of this toun … vnder the pane of … burnyng throuch the lug; 1575 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 39.
Bayth his lowggis to be nalit to the trone; 1576 Crail B. Ct. 26 Nov.
1582 (c 1650) Dundee B. Laws 43.
Under the payne of tyning his lugis; 1590 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 122.
1590 Culross I. 130.
1592 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 75.
His [a thief's] taker sall cause cutt ane of his lugges [Acts I, to cut his eyr of], … his other lug [Acts I. ear]; Skene Reg. Maj. i. 134.
He is decernit to be taine and ane peice of his lug cuttit af; 1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. MS. 36 b.
The marschellis man, quha wes apoynted to haif cuttit Mr. Patrik Maxwell haill lug, bot being buddit did only cutt af a pairt of his lug; 1655 Nicoll Diary 153.
1662 Gunn Cross Kirk Peebles 183.
1697 Banff Ann. I. 98.
(3) Quhae devill maid ȝow a gentillman wald nocht stow [Ch. cut] ȝour luggis? Lynd. Sat. 1939.
Thomas Russell is cum in vill … for the bostyne to cut her lovg the said tyme; 1549–50 Elgin Rec. I. 101.
The mutilatioun and demembering of Maister Johne Girvane of his lug; 1548–56 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXIII. 41.
1558 Melrose Reg. Rec. III. 161.
The theif quhilk I on the gallous gart hing … baith his luggis thay stowit quite him fra; Rolland Seven S. 7853.
Ib. 7872.
1565 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 638/2.
1579 Reg. Privy C. III. 176.
In saying he suld nok ane lug furth of his head; 1611 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 89.
1629 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III. 199.
Spalding II. 428.
Luggasque gulæo hoc Ex capite cuttabo; Polemo-Mid. 102.
Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 67 (see Lib v.2 2 b).
(4) Convict … of the … rugging and ryving of his lug to the effusioun of his blude; 1570 Canongate Ct. Bk. 214.
Away damnable heretique, I sal pluk ȝour luggs; Fowler II. 23/29.
You say that for which I would draw your lug an inch long were I within reach of it; 1657 R. Moray Lett. 4/14 Dec.
[He] only did draw his daughters lug for making a lie; 1699 Kingarth Par. Rec. 201.
(5) Tua penner inkhornis [6 s.], … sex luge wyres [6 s.], … thrie hundreth single naillis; 1627 Orkn. & Shetl. Test. I. 170.

b. The ear of an animal. Also attrib. in luig-top and Lug-mark, -marking. Common in contexts referring to ear-marks. Luig-top, an ear-bow, one of a pair of ornamental or protective coverings for a horse's ears (in the mod. dial. as lug-cap). Also as a surname or nickname of one John Sowlug, stableman (1506–7 Rentale Dunkeld. (S.H.S.) 86). Asse-luggis, see As n.2 attrib. Prick-luggs, see Prik. (1) The lug of ane lempet is nocht to forsaik; … The lug of ane lyoun; Henr. Pract. Medic. 56, 70.
That na craftisman by hidis bot as the law requires, … the louge and the horne elik lang; 1507 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 437.
It … hes bene observit … that all scheip war flane throuche to the luggis; 1566 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 225;
1585 Ib. IV. 407.
1568 (c 1650) Dundee B. Laws 37.
Bot euin as that asse, being … cleirlie espyet be his lang luggis [etc.]; 1573 Tyrie in Cath. Tr. 6/8.
Diurn. Occurr. 235.
1590 Crim. Trials I. ii. 212.
Johne Patersoun … cuttit his horse luggis and brak his cairtis; 1590–1 Reg. Privy C. IV. 601.
Kaithrein Makteir brocht watter of hir making of herbis … and bad … put it in thair [cows'] lugis; 1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 53.
Ane cow with calfe called the browne lugs cow; 1677 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 23 Feb.
1678 Cleland 28.
(2) James Pattoun … deponit … that the sow … was Dave Bellis … quhowbeit that hir lug was cuttit, and on cuttit the tyme that he saild hir; 1525–6 Stirling B. Rec. I. 25.
The crop of the richt lug cuttit and a foit blak; 15.. Bk. Dean Lismore p. 96.
His eldest merk to wit tua helmeins vpon the left luge [etc.]; 1623 Orkney & Shetl. Test. I. 94.
That nae man sall vse of sheip callet of auld the kings mark quhilk is both the luggis off; 1629 Orkney & Shetl. Sheriff Ct. MS. 13 b.
Thrie [ewes] cutt in the fair luige; 1667 Kelso Baillie Ct. 70 b.
Ane gray sand colored naig … cutt in the near loge; 1670 Ib. 71.
(3) proverb Ye cannot make a silk purse of a sows lug; Ferg. Prov. (1706) 290.
(4) attrib. Deliverit to James Purves tua wattering brydillis, … Item, the said day, sex heid geris and sex luig [pr. ling] toppis of ledder, price xxiiij s.; 1537 Treas. Acc. VI. 336.

c. In various special phrases. About one's lugs, about one's ears, all around one: said of a shower of liquid falling over one, a shower of blows about the head, hair hanging loose over the head, a house burned about one. At one's lug, just at one's ear, at one's side, close by. Over the lugs, over lug and horn, over head and ears, so as to be completely immersed. (To pull) be (the) luggis, violently or roughly. To pow (= pull) one's lug, to have his ear or attention, to be in favour with him. To tak one be the (lap of) the lug, to get him by the ear, take or lay hold of him. To hing by the lug of (anything), to keep a firm hold of it, hang on to, cling to it (as a purpose). To hing the lugs, lay one's lugs on one's neck, ‘to let one's ears droop’, to be crestfallen, dejected, or cowed: cf. hing-lugg'd, Luggit a. 3 b. (1) [He] tuk furth a caldroun that wes full of drink & spilt the drink about the wiffis luggis; 1520–1 Alloway Baron Ct. 15 Jan.
Quharthrow drink, draf & iuggis Come rudely rinnand doun about ȝour luggis; Lynd. Answ. Flyting 56.
This grewhound … Into his mouth his hors taill wald he tak About his luggis, oft times he wald it schaik; Rolland Seven S. 1732.
Sche cam … in sa miserable a stait, her hairs hingand about her loggs; 1567 Inv. Q. Mary cxxvi. n.
A doosane of suddartis … gave the lard iniurious wordis, bidding him come out … or elis they suld burne the hous about his luggis; Bann. Trans. 172.
[She] raif the curtch aff hir head, … , shuik hir hair about hir luidgis; 1616 Dalyell Darker Superst. 451.
The said Uthrid … strake the compleanar about the lugs with the said hors wand; 1630 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III. 607.
Her nain shell tid get A tish of water poured town Apout her nain shell's lugs; c 1700 Fugitive Poetry II. xli. 102.
(2) For hou can youre lawis be keipit in the countrey, gif thay be brokin at your lugge? James VI Basil. Doron 118/3.
Is there no uther parte of the kirke to sing masse in, but thou must sing it at my lugge? 1637 Rothes' Affairs Kirk App. 199.
None … was more guilty than my self, for mass was said … at my lug, and yet I never opened my mouth; 1691 Continuation Historical Relation Late General Assembly 25.
(3) For these who's duk't over lug and horn, In snow or dubbs as soon as born, More boasterous weather may endure; 1678 Cleland 26.
Remember Jonah fled from God, and the Lord found him out, and doucked him over the lugs; Life and Trials of William Sinclair (1721) 16.
For Willie Tamson well I ween Fell in a pool o'er baith the een, … And Rob … O'er both the lugs he fell beside him; a 1706 Mare of Colinton in
Watson's Coll. i. 48.
(4) All the remanent him [a dog] ruggis, Sum be leggis. sum be luggis; Colk. Sow i. 141.
I sall pul thé owt of the pulpot be the luggis & chais thé out of this town! 1559 St. A. Kirk S. 107.
(5) So, sillie I, opprest with barmie jugg[is], Invyis ȝour state, that's pouing Bacchus [luggis]; Montg. Son. lxvi. 14.
(6) Thow baid hir gang withe thé … and tak the man be the lug that was standen befoir hir; 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 100.
He will be bauld to tak thee, as it wer, be the lug, suppois thou were ane king; Rollock Wks. I. 401.
To take kingis and princes be the lug and leid them to Christ; Ib. 414.
John Rind did tak him be the lap of the lug; 1661 Elgin Rec. II. 298.
Did Christ, when he whipt the buyers … out of the temple, take every particular huckster-wife by the lug? Pitcairn Assembly iv. ii. (1817) 63.
(7) Since the cause is put in his hand, ye have ay good reason to hing by the lug of it; M. Bruce Lectures 54 (Jam.).
(8) Et luggas necko imponens, sic cucurrit absens, Non audens gimpare iterum, ne worsa tulisset; Polemo-Mid. 144.
Mongst whom there was both kid and king Who drowsily their lugs did hing With countenance demured; Short Compend xxxiii.

d. (?). She said it was a good Scots four shilling piece. Nay, my bairn, said he, you have litle skill of Scots coyne. It is a fair six shilling piece at the least my doue, for I am sure it hath the rose at the lug of it; 1658 R. Moray Lett. 21 Mar.

3. (Less commonly,) The ear as the organ of hearing. Nather heir thay [sc. the angels] our prayeris, vtherwyse thay vald haue ouer lang luggis; 1581 Burne Disput. 150.
It [sc. the Gospel] hes bene ane sound in the lug, bot not ane licht in the saull; Rollock Wks. I. 399.
The provost … when he saw me altogether refusing, he rounded in my lug; 1666 Wodrow Hist. II. 56.

b. In special phrases. To lay, or lend, (to) one's lug, to give attentive ear, listen attentively. To blaw in one's luggis, in the mod. dial. = to flatter, wheedle, cajole (one). (1) For gaze with thy eie as thou will, lay to thy lug as thou wil … gif thou haue bot an naturall ear and ane naturall eie, thou sall not see nor heir; Rollock Wks. I. 376.
I drew me darne to the doore, … And as I lent to my lug, this well I heard; Craig Pilgr. & Heremite 5.
He had the patience to lend his lugs to the out-running of two glasses, with their respective appendixes; a 1708 Prince of Tartaria Voyage Cowper in Fife 2.
(2) Thus Sathan in ȝour knauish luggis bleu, Stil to deny all treuth and veritie, Sua that amang ȝou salbe fund richt feu Bot ar infectit vith deulish blasphemie; 1581 Sat. P. xliv. 109.

4. transf. A handle or projecting lug, often one of a pair, of a vessel of any kind. Ansa, the lug of ony weschell; Despauter (1579).
To caus make ane competent nummer of measurs … , good and sufficient with lugs, for metting of the said hering; 1613 Conv. Burghs II. 403.
For tuo yrone luges to ane burnestand; 1629 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. 295.
Ane grit silver dische with twa lugis; 1638 Edinb. Test. LVIII. 335 b.
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII. 354.
Ane copper kettle with boule and looges; 1696 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 740 (15 Aug.).
Two new queichs with 4 luggs, thrie round queichs without lugs; 1697 Sc. N. & Q. 2 Ser. II. 90.
A big quech cup with three lugs; 1703 Ib.

b. Applied to certain projections or ‘horns’ on a saddle. v angellis to gilt the … luggis of the saidill and brydill bit, the lugis and pendes; 1601 Treas. Acc. MS. (1601–1604) 181.

c. The projecting point of a rock: see Crag-lug n.

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"Lug n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2022 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/lug_n>



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