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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

BAIGLE, Beagle, Beegle, Bagle, n. Used as beagle in St.Eng. to mean a small hound employed in hare-hunting; hence a spy, an informer, a constable. [′begl Mry., Ags., s.Kintyre, Ant.; ′bigl Mry., Bnff., Rxb.] The peculiar Sc. extensions are:

1. A thin man; an odd figure.Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 11:
Fatna famished-lookin' baigle o' a fellow wis yon at gaed doon through the toon the day, ken ye?
Mry. 1932 (per. Bnff.4):
Fat waff lookin' beegle o' a crater is that?

2. A disagreeable, dirty person; a sight, a fright.Abd. 1993:
E nutty baigle walkit stracht intil e traffic.
Ags.10 1925:
Watch the bairn. He's makin' a fair baigle o' hissel.
Per. 1990 Betsy Whyte Red Rowans and Wild Honey (1991) 173:
He got very indignant then, and exclaimed, 'I am kinda green, but I was taught that much. I'm no' a dirty bagle.'
Travelling people believed that at least three months should elapse before a man should touch his wife after childbirth.
Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems on Different Occasions 49:
Some folks will surely think I'm idle To crack sae lang wi sic a beagle.
Gall. 1932 (per Arg.2):
I know the phrase “clarty baigle” meaning a disagreeable or objectionable person.
s.Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Beagle. Used as a ludicrous designation for one who makes an odd appearance; as one bespattered with mud is said to be “a pretty beagle.”
Ant. 1933 (per Uls.2):
He's a quare baigle, that fellow.

Used attrib., ugly.Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Streams from Helicon (1721) 38:
All drench'd in Blood, the beagle Body lay, Just as it was alive, a senseless Lump of Clay.

3. Phrs. (1) to fight the beagle, to indulge in a mock fight or some sim. horseplay among tailors when a new member is brithered or initiated; (2) "within a beagle's gowl, within hearing distance" (Uls. 1924 North. Whig. (9th Jan.)). (1) Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 89:
To wave the elwan owre his head To fight the Beagle.

[Transferred use of St.Eng. beagle, a dog used in hunting.]

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"Baigle n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/baigle_n>

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