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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Nag, Nage, Naig, n. Also: nagg(e; naige, naigg, nayg(ue; neg(g; neag, neig. [ME. (c 1400) and e.m.E. nag(ge, late ME. (1464) andnorth. e.m.E. nage, andlater Sc. and north. Eng. dial. naig, neg, of obscure origin.]

A small horse, a pony. Also attrib. in naig-hors.Applied to serviceable horses of smaller size and only moderate quality, both quiet paced riding horses or ponies and work horses: see also cairt-naig, Cart n.1 3, curser-, cursour-naig, riding- and wark-, work-naig.For further examples see also Ambland ppl. a., *Ameler n., Bachland ppl. a., Haknay n., and the various adjs. of colours or markings of horses, as bausond, blake, broun, gray, keir, liart, etc.(a) 1457 Exch. R. VI. 354.
j equa et j equo dicto nag
1497 Treas. Acc. I. 361. 1501 Ib. II. 29.
For ane quhit nag quhilk the King bocht fra him iij li.
1503–4 Ib. 240. 1505 Ib. III. 151.
Payit … for ane litil nag to Riche Balȝee
1548 Lanark Sheriff Ct. MS. 13.
The … quhilk nag wes prisit … to iii li.
1577 Douglas Corr. 223.
1637 Lithgow Siege Breda i.
Being mounted upon a Gallowedian nagge
(b) 1534 Treas. Acc. VI. 209.
To Alexander Kemp to by him ane nage iiii li.
1552 Ib. X. 82. 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 265.
The caryaris of the victuall … wes taikin … and thar nages alsua
1585 Edinb. Test. XV. 44b.
Ane gray nage … price xx merkis
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 150.
An inch of a nage is worth the span of an aver
a1634 Read Buch. 263.
An number of … scullions following the campe lapp wpon carriage horse and nages
1643 Dumfries Treas. Acc. MS. 12. 1686 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII. 67.
The two horsses … he bought … for three dollers and ane little nage
(c) 1519 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV. 20.
Ane gray naygue callit Gray Curso[ur] the pece v merks
1530 Treas. Acc. V. 426.
For ane hous … to the quhite naig
? 1545 Corr. M. Lorraine 144. 1549 Treas. Acc. IX. 324. 1567–8 Crim. Trials I. i. 497. 1572 Sat. P. xxxii. 18. 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 187. 1581 Acts III. 225/2.
Being … small naigis and na horsis of seruice
1583 Edinb. Test. XII. 379 b.
Fyve auld lauborit naigis price of the pece viij merkis
1587–8 Lanark B. Rec. 91. 1595 Duncan App. Etym. s.v.; also Despauter (1579), 1587 Carmichael Etym., etc.
Mannus, equus mansuetus, a naig
1602 Paterson Ayr & Wigton II. 63.
[Mounted on] ane paissing naig
1603 Argyll Acc. 5 June.
To ane feyed naige out of Streveling to Dumbertane
1607 Crim. Trials II. 531. c1610 Melville Mem. 12. 1614 Burnett Fam. P.
Libertie of pasturage of ane naig quhair the rest of the hors of the said toun happinis to be pastured
1625 Peebles B. Rec. I. 413. 1746 J. Row Sermon 3.
The kirk of Scotland was a bonny trotting naig … but the bishops … corce-langled her [etc.]
Ib. 8.
The jackman must venter over first upon his weak weary naig
1639 Household Bk. M. Stewart 36.
For fyve shoeen, thrie to the horse Laidy Marie did ryd on, one to the naige Mr. Thomas Rollock did ryd on, and one to the coatche horse, 25 sh.
1640 Baillie I. 271. 1644 Douglas Corr. 253. 1647 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 120.
To buy ane hors to be imployeit in drawing furthe of foule cloathes … and als that na vther naige be boucht
?a1648 Polemo-Mid. 51. c1650 Spalding I. 287.
The capitane seing his horse bot ane litle naig, wes content
1651 Black Bk. Taymouth 434.
That yow wold send … a naige and creiles on him … to cary the said litle tronk to your house
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II. 18. 1659-60 A. Hay Diary 85. Ib. 154. 1666 Kelso Baillie Ct. 70 b.
Ane stone dark gray naig
1669 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 258.
Sixtein ky … together with two naigis for labouring of the ground
1674 Ib. 463. 1676 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 219.
[He] tooke the hay raik that was wpon the kar on the naig bak
1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 67.
To ken him from a straying naig
attrib. 1567 Edinb. Test. I. 19.
Thre naig horsis price of the pece aucht pundis
1588 Ib. XIX. 27.
Tua lytill naig horsis price of the peice x li.
(d) 1564–75 Hamilton & Campsie Test. I. 12.
Ane broun meir … ane broun neg
1580 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 39.
For the gang of the grytest hors schone sex s. viii d., smaller hors and neggis, four s.
1648 Invent. Quarterings, Arbroath MS. 5.
Robert Peddie with three grooms, 4 great horses and two negs
(e) 1604 Laing MSS. I. 100.
The pryce of ane broune neag quhilk is deid in his majesteis service
c 1653 Irvine Mun. II. 254.
The greay neag that had the spiven
(f) 1676 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 17 (8 Feb.).
[£16 for a] browne neig

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"Nag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2022 <>



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