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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).

Rag(e, Raig(e, v. Also: radge; raidge; rege; reage; reigg-. [ME and e.m.E. rage (Cursor M.), F. rager (13th c.).]

1. intr. To go, or be, mad; to act in a frenzied manner.See also 5 b below. c1420 Wynt. iv 2058.
Wemen, rageand in wodenes
1567 G. Ball. 203.
Thay ar with dolour pynde, And lyke to raige out of thair mynde

b. To rave; to behave as if deranged. — 1540 Lynd. Sat. 4149 (Ch.).
Quha drinks of that aill … It will gar all his harnis rage [Bann. rege]
1567 G. Ball. 36.
I for hunger die and raige
c1590 J. Stewart 26/413.

2. To be extremely angry; to give expression to one's anger by one's words or actions. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 3385.
Betis begouth to rage And waryit God
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 826.
Lat the riche man rage
1547–8 Cal. Sc. P. I 97.
The governor … is lyk to rag for desplesor that scho hes sufferit
1558-66 Knox II 412.
The quene … rageit, and the placebois of the courte stormed
a1578 Pitsc. II 6 (A).
[They] ragit in furie as thay had bene … by thair mynd
1585 James VI Ess. 47.
Which made her both to rage and to dispair … that she laked help in any sort
1603 Philotus 713.
Rage not gude gosse, bot hald ȝour toung
1622-6 Bisset II 285/18.
That fals crowell iudge … raidged and rored lyke ane roring lyoun
1626 Garden Worthies 88.

b. tr. To scold; to vent one's rage on (a person). But perh. erron.: cf. 3 below. a1578 Pitsc. I 282 h. of ch.
Hou Schir James Hamiltoun ragit [MS reiggit] Schir Patrik

3. intr. To vent one's fury aganis (also at, on) a person by word or action.(1) a1568 Bell. Bann. MS 367b/55.
He can not rege aganis the beistis small
Id. Livy I 224/8.
The tribunis made the pepill to rage aganis the faderis
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 339/31.
The fleische … ragiys aganis the spreit
(2) a1578 Pitsc. I 282/26.
Schir James Hammilltoun … ragit at the said Mr. Patrick
(3) 1533 Bell. Livy I 205/18.
The Romanis had sa eternall pissance that gif thai ragit nocht on thame self be civill seditiouns, thare empire culd nocht be distroyit
c1590 J. Stewart 79/244.
Ane furius fole … lyk ane mastiu or malicious beir He raidgeit on thir luifers that cam by

4. To behave wantonly or riotously; to indulge oneself in vice; to take one's pleasure. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 239.
With the lordis sonnis … He was ay iustand, warsland, and rageand
a1487 Gud Wyf & D. 85.
Thoill thaim nocht rage with rybaldry
1533 Bell. Livy II 35/23.
This victorie … was occasioun to thame to rage in maist corruppit insolence
1567 G. Ball. 151.
Man was sa wylde and nyce, And rageing in all vyce
a1585 Arbuthnot Maitl. Q. 128/82.
Trew preiching makis the wicked mair to raige The mair the[y] heir the mair thay rin in vyce

b. spec. To indulge in sexual activity. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 194.
He ralis … Ay rusing him of his radis and rageing in chalmer
Ib. 386.
Quhen he ane hal ȝear wes hanyt, and him behuffit rage
a1568 Weddirburne Bann. MS 287b/39.
In lufe to rammeis and to rege [: aige] … in ald men is dottage

5. a. Of natural things: To move violently or furiously; to rush. Also fig. c1420 Wynt. i 963.
Thare ryvarys ragys noucht for rayne
fig. 1513 Doug. iv x 18.
Strang luf begynnys to rage and rys agane
1562-3 Winȝet I 51/7.
The inundation of our synnis lang raigeing in euery estate

b. Of a person: To change rapidly in condition; to deteriorate suddenly in health.Perh. influenced by 1 above, and indicating high fever or delirium. 1661 Black Sc. Witches 34.
James Clark his chyld … took present seiknes and raged to death befor twelfe a cloke

6. To move furiously or menacingly; to act in a threatening or destructive manner. 1533 Bell. Livy I 147/17.
Ȝit the Ethruschis war sufferit to rage with sic opyn renȝeis erare be wisdome than [etc.]
1546 Lynd. Trag. Card. 154.
Than, lyke ane lyone lowsit of his caige, Out throuch this realme I gan to reil and rage
1557 Facs. Nat. MSS III xl.
How Sathan in his membris the Antechristes of oure tyme, crewellie dois raige [etc.]
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (S.T.S.) 401.
That the power of the aduersaries was restraynit, that thay culd not rage and rin at ryot at thair libertie … as thay war wont
a1578 Pitsc. I 30/8.
Thus thay raiged throw the realme bot ony respectt to God or man
1618 Crim. Trials III 450.
That thay sould suffer sic ane … pernitious multitude … to radge and dominire within thair boundis
1611-57 Mure Psalmes iii 6.
Ten thousand laid of people, raging me around

7. To take a fierce hold on, to spread widely and gain in influence and intensity. 1513 Doug. v viii 82.
The prynce Eneas … Na langar suffer wald … fers Entellus mude thus rage and sprede
1549 Lamb Resonyng 31/12.
1562-3 Winȝet II 7/29.
The mony diuerse and contrarious sectis, raigeing at this præsent amangis the professouris of Christis name
Ib. I 57/28.

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"Rag v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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