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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).

S(c)hag(e, n. Also: schaig; s(c)hagg. [e.m.E. shage (1592) in sense 1 below, shag (1598), also (1601) = rough matted hair, wool, after OE sceacga.]

1. A woollen stuff with a long rough nap on one side; a kind or variety of this.Chiefly, as a non-count noun.(1) 1614 Laing MSS 135.
For 5 yairds half of vailsch shag to lyne cloik at 7 s. the yaird
Quhyt shag to lyne the doublitt
1618 Edinb. Test. L 164.
Mixt schag at xxvj s. aucht pennyis the elne
1623 Ib. LI 337b.
My … cloke linit in the lapis with blak schage
1624 Ib. LII 236b.
xl ellis of schage at l s. the elne
1627 Ib. LIV 49b.
xlij ellis of cullouris of schage at x li. the elne
1631 Brechin Test. V 51b.
Ane elne reid schaig xx s.
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 333.
Scarlet reid schage to be lyning to the caisses of the kingis pictoures
1635 Galloway P. 11 Aug.
To my lady to be ane gowne 7 ells of double skarlet schag 4 lib. 6 s. 8 d. ell
1640 Bk. Carlaverock II 504.
Everie sute consisting of … breikis and clokis dowble with schag or velvott
1653 Soc. Ant. XXIII 302.
Ane large white Spanish blankett of shagg
1659 Craven Ch. in Orkney II 198.
A quarter shagg
1661 Nicolson Diurnals 11 Jan.
For … shage, 6 qrtr. broad to be ane long coatt to Sir James
(2) 1620 Edinb. Test. L 352.
Certane remanes … of schagis and blak burratis
Ib. 352b.
Fyve haill peisis of schagis at xxiiij lib. the peis
1632 Ib. LV 254.
Five hundreth ten [sc. 510] elns of shages Londoun at tuentie shillinges the eln

2. attrib. Consisting of, or made of, shag; hence, having a long, rough nap.(1) 1620 Edinb. Test. L 353.
Schag velvot
1625 Ib. LIII 32.
Schag freis at xl s. the elne
1627 Ib. LIV 49.
Schage veluot at x li. the elne
1647 Ib. LXIII 34.
Aucht elnes and ane quarter shag bais and freis
c1680 Bk. Dunvegan I 195.
Stof, red shage £3 12 s.
(2) 1634 Edinb. Test. LVI 367b.
Thrie schage Irland coveringes
1642 Edinb. Test. LX 144.
Ane reid schag coitt estimat to twa pund xiiij s.
1660 Rothesay B. Rec. 53.
Ane schagg vallicoatt
c1670 Old Ross-shire I 143.
Ane shag coat of barrogone
1675 Argyll Justic. Rec. 53.
Ane red shag peticoat
1691 Brechin Test. VIII 23b.
A reid shag coat

3. ? A fleece. 1604 Misc. Hist. Soc. II 246.
As to my schiep I can not tell quhat it can be vurthe to me as yit, for if she thrayf she vill multiple and incries, iff uther vays she be but bairane I heff lost mor nor tuente schage can be [vurthe]

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



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