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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).

Rinigat, Runagat(e, n. (adj.). Also: rynni, rynne-, run(n)i-, rwni-, run(n)e-, runn(e)a-, run(n)ie- and -gait, get. [e.m.E. runagate (c 1530), runn(e)agate, ronagate, ronneagate, alteration of renegade Renegat n. (adj.) by association with run Rin v.1 and agate adj. Cf. Renegade n., Renegant n. and adj.]

1. One who deserts his religion; an apostate. Cf. Renegat n. 1.(a) a1578 Pitsc. II 67/27.
Thow fallis arratick rinigat
(b) a1578 Pitsc. II 62/10.
The accusatioun of Mr. George Wischart … Thou heretik runagat traitour and theiff
Ib. 63/17.
a1599 Rollock Wks. II 608.
A runagate who had denied his Master thrice
1615 Crim. Trials III 344.
But if he … play the runneagate from God … I will not acknowledge him
Ib. 378.
Playing the rwnigait frome the trew religioun
1690 Shields Grievances and Sufferings 22.
In which act … we are called … runnagats, traitors and fugitives

2. A vagabond or wanderer. 1648 Justiciary Cases III 770.
Against … Johne McHucheoun McEwin, runeagat, … Johne McConeill Vayne, runiegait, … William Gillandreis in Insches
1661 S. Ronaldshay 37.
[She called the minister and his wife] thieffes and vagabonds and runnegatis and ferry loopers
1667 Duncan Glasg. Physic. & Surg. 68.
The said William Currie ane warlock and runniegait going fra door to door

3. As a term of general opprobrium: A rascal or scamp. 1644 Baillie II 217.
The … invasione of Kintyre by Coll Macgillespick's son, who, with [2500] … runagates from Ireland, are loppen over there
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. II 51.
It was lybelld against him that he was a runnagate, a beastley drunkard

4. attrib. or adj.(a) 1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 150.
The … forloppin freir, quhilk is rynnegat fra his religioun
Ib. 157.
Ane rynnigat monk fra his religioun
(b) 1595 Anderson Winter Night 14.
There is two sorts of apostat, Some from Christs word are runagate [etc.]
1645 Hawick Ann. 65.
In calling of him … ane runnigat beggar fra toune to toune
c1650 Spalding I 290.
Ane tymber meir quhairvpone runnaget knaves and runaway soldiouris sould ryde
Ib. II 355.
Then thir runagat Irish soldieris fell to, and plunderit the place of Drum

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



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