Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
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.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: