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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).

BOORAG, Bowarag, n. [′bu:rəg. See P.L.D. § 157 (4)]

1. “Rough unshapen piece of turf used as peat” (Cai.4 1920).Cai. 1891 D. Stephen Gleanings in the North 59:
A father complained to him in the following terms — “Maister Jolly, yin gigglegawkie, fat ye ca' m' son, dangs bowarag [very rare form (Cai.3)] in my dochter's e'e, and tramped 'po' my folpey's feet.”
Cai. 1911 John o' Groat Jnl. (2 June):
Boorag — a peat cut out of shallow moss, with its lower half moss, and its upper part growing heather, used as backing to a peat fire.
Cai. 1928 “Caithness Forum” in John o' Groat Jnl. (17 Feb.):
Bliss ye, lassie, put a boorag or twa back o' 'e fire or ma teeth will be clatterin' in ma heid.

2. “Turf used for thatching houses. One part of Thurso is called Boorag-town” (Cai. 1914 T.S.D.C. I.).

[Cf. Gael. búrach, a digging, from Eng. burrow (MacBain).]

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"Boorag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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