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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Scallag, -aig, Scolog, -ag, n. [Gael. sgalag, earlier scoloc, a landless farm-labourer, Ir. scológ, f. scol school, orig., the eldest son of a monastic tenant, handed over to the church to receive an ecclesiastical education, but still entitled to inherit his share of the family land; later, applied to all monastic tenants, and developing finally into farm-servant, generally. Also in the later (Highland) Scots dial.] A land-labourer or farm-servant in the Highlands. Also attrib. with landis. 1206 Misc. Spald. C. V 210.
[Vidit multitudinem scoloccorum in terra
Ib. 212.
Nativos et scoloccos a terra illa amovisse et istum terram coluisse
Ib. 213.
Duncanus … ex toto scoloccos amovit et terram illam preter episcopum coluit primus
1265 Coll. Aberd. & B. 312.]
Dicta terra de Elon per rectas diuisas suas sicut Scoloci eam nunc tenent
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 84.
The very place named Bearn ni Scallag, that is, the Servants Gap, becaus the men who did the slaughter were servants and scallags
1667 Highland P. II 23.
He and M‘Kenzie mett quhair they fought hand to hand till M‘Kenzie's scallaig more … went betwixt M‘Kenzie and him
attrib. 1387 Coll. Aberd. & B. 310.
Terre ecclesiastice de Elon que dicuntur le Scologlandis
a1560 Buchan Cl. IV 102.
[Requiring the presence of more clerics than the Vicar of Ellon, and the] clerks [supplied by the] scolag lands

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"Scallag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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