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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

BOG, Boag, Boge, Bogg, Bowg, n.3 and v.2  Also bugg (Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 60).  As in St.Eng. both in the lit. and fig. uses. The following are special Sc. usages. [bog, bɔg Sc.; bʌug e.Rs.]

I. n. A term used in bowling to indicate a useless shot.m.Sc. 1898 J. Buchan John Burnet of Barns iii.:
The little man sighed and played his bowl: it was even as the other had said, for his shot was adjudged a bogg and put off the green.

II. v.

1. (1) (See first quot.)Uls. 1924 W.J.M.B. in North. Whig (4 Jan.):
To be boggin', to be engaged working in wet and dirty surroundings, as in mud.
Dwn. 1844 R. Huddleston Poems and Songs 80:
Tho' he hale morn in soot had boged.

Hence (2) to work slowly.e.Rs. (Avoch) 1914 T.S.D.C. I. 27:
Bowg awa at, work away without making much progress.
Abd. 1921 W. Walker W.-L.:
I'm aye boggan awa at it.

2. To go out working at so much a day; esp. used of shoemakers who go out to work in the house of a customer. Given as dial. in N.E.D. s.v. bogger, and given as obsol. by E.D.D. s.v. boag.Ayr. 1868 J. K. Hunter Artist's Life 20:
Shoemakers . . . went a-bogging . . . on the same principle as tailors whip the cat.
Ayr. 1891 H. Johnston Kilmallie ii.:
His wife would not let him go out “bogging.”
Kcb. 1898 E.D.D.:
Boag. Heard lately from a shoemaker in the parish of Balmaghie.

3. Combs.: (1) bog-aiples, the marsh cinquefoil, Comarum palustre (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) B. 299); (2) bog-bleater, -blitter, -bluiter, -bluter, -bumper, the bittern, Botaurus stellaris; (3) bog-deuk, the mallard, Anas platyrhynchos (Abd. 1975); (4) bog-drum, same as (2) above. Given for Sc. and Ir. by C. Swainson Brit. Bird 1885, 146; (5) bog-gall, the bog-myrtle, Myrica gale (Sc. 1795 J. Sinclair Agric. N. Highl. 34). See Gall; (6) bog gled, the marsh-harrier, Circus æruginosus; (7) bog-hay, hay gathered from uncultivated or marshy ground. Given as Eng. in N.E.D., but the only examples are Sc. Gen.Sc.; (8) bog-heather, the cross-leaved heath, Erica tetralix (Nai. 1900 R. Thomson Nat. Hist. Highl. Par. 279); (9) bog-hyacinth, “Orchis mascula, ‘Adam and Eve'” (Abd.19, Abd.22 1935); (10) bog-jock's hose, butterwort, Pinguicula vulgaris (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) B. 299). Cf. jock's hose s.v. Gowk, n.1, 6. (9); (11) bogmint, “a variety of the species Mentha” (Sc. 1898 E.D.D.). Not given in N.E.D.; (12) bog-nut, “the marsh Trefoil, Menyanthes trifoliata, Linn.” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2); (13) bog-reed, the reed of bog-grass used in the stock-and-horn (see Stock, n.2);  (14) bog sprot, a kind of rush growing in bogs, Juncus effusus; (15) bog-sta(l)ker, (a) an idle, lounging, bashful fellow; cf. Irish bog-trotter. Given as obs. for ne.Rxb. by Watson W.-B. 1923; ‡(b) “a goblin or ghost” (nw., s.Rxb. Ib.); (16) bog-thack, thatch of reeds taken from a bog. Cf. (14); (17) bog-thissle, -thrissle, “the thistle Carduus palustris” (Abd.2 1935; s.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), bog-thistle (Ayr.4 1928). Given for Nhb. in E.D.D. Not given in N.E.D.; (18) bog-worm, the marsh worm, used as angling bait. (2) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. (1817) i.:
The deep cry of the bog-blitter, or bull-of-the-bog, a large species of bittern.
Rxb., Ayr. 1825 Jam.2:
Bog-bluter, the bittern denominated from its thrusting its bill into marshy places, and making a noise by bubbling through the water. . . . The term is sometimes pron[ounced] Bog-blitter and Bog-bleater (expl. as denoting a large species of Bittern), as if from the E[ng.] v. to Bleat.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Bog-bleater(s.), -blitter (Rxb., ne.), -bluiter (centr.), -bluter (Rxb.), = the bittern. [Bog-bumper given as obs. in same sense for centr.Rxb.]
Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man III. i.:
The redoubted fiend laughed till the walls of the castle shook, while those on the top took it for the great bittern of the Hartwood, called there the Bog-bumper.
(6) e.Lth. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 131:
Bog gled, the marsh harrier. So called from being generally found in the neighbourhood of bogs and marshes, and from its preying on and destroying . . . fish, reptiles and aquatic birds.
(7) Sc. 1824 J. E. Shortreed in Cornhill Mag. (Sept. 1932) 271:
Willie . . . came out to take our horses to the stable — a' the fouk about the toun being engaged wi' the bog-hay or some such thing.
Per. 1799 J. Robertson Gen. View Agric. Perth 222:
In general bog hay . . . is about one third inferior in quality to that from sown grass.
ne., w.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Bog-hay, hay won from grassy balks, road-sides, etc.
Dmf.9 1930:
Bog-hay. The word is still used in Annandale by the older people.
(9) n.–centr.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Bog-hyacinth, some species of orchis.
Dmf. 1896 S. Arnott in Garden-Work 112:
The Orchis is said to be called “Bulldairy” in some parts of Dumfriesshire, but here it is known by the more pleasing name of “Bog Hyacinth” or “Adam and Eve.”
(13)Sc. c.1700 R. Chambers Songs Scot. (1890) 456:
O' the ewe-buchtin's bonnie, baith e'ening and morn, When our blithe shepherds play on the bog-reed and horn.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 109:
When thou didst tune, with heartsome Glee, Thy Bog-reed-horn.
(14) Bnff. 1902 J. Grant Agric. in Bnffsh. 150 Years Ago 8:
There was often added thatch of the “bog sprots.”
Abd.19 1935:
Bog sprot, regularly cut every autumn and brought home for thakkin the rucks.
(15) (a) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 199:
William's a wise judicious Lad, Has Havins mair than e'er ye had, Ill bred Bog-staker.
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Bogstalker, an idle, wandering and stupid fellow. . . . The term might probably have its origin in troublesome times, when out-laws, or others who were in danger of their lives, were seen at a distance hunting in marshy places, where pursuit was more difficult; or perhaps from their pursuing game.
Ags.10 1925:
Come and sit doon, an' no stand there like a bog-stalker. [The phr. to stand like a bogstalker is given by Jam.2 (1825) and defined in E.D.D. as “to be in a dilemma.”]
Slk. 1914 T.S.D.C. I. 24:
Bog-stalker, a bashful individual.
(16) Per. 1835 J. Monteath Dunblane Traditions 69:
Then were laid on the kebars, parallel to the couple-legs, next a slating of divots, and last of all a coating of bog-thack, and a ridging of flax-mill dust.
(18)Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy Geordie Chalmers 176:
They'll snap at a gude bog-worm like a cock at a grosset.

[Gael. bog, soft, moist, boglach, a marsh; Ir. bog, soft, bogach, a swamp. First appearance of bog in Sc. is in Liber Calchou 81, dated 1208–1218 (see D.O.S.T.).]

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"Bog n.3, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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