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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

BROGUE, Brog, Broag, n.1 A rough Highland shoe of untanned hide, stitched with thongs of leather. Orig. Irish and Sc. but now St.Eng. and used everywhere to denote a heavy shoe of any kind. Also dim. brogan. Hence broguer, a maker of brogues (Mry. 1889 Private MS.). [brog]Sc. 1821 The Athol Gathering in Hogg (ed.) Jacobite Relics II. 98:
Bend the musket, point the rapier, Shift the brog for Lowland shoe.
Sc. 1834 H. Miller Scenes 277: 
The broguer or maker of Highland shoes, kept the field in spite of the regular shoemaker . . . and disappeared only about five years ago.
Inv. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 III. 25:
And the Highland brogues are still the ordinary dress of the men.
Slg. 1738 in Trans. Stirling Nat. Hist. and Arch. Soc. (1924) 43:
John Lyon charged with failing to give up two pair of broags taken from a stranger in the market place.
Kcb. 1895 S. R. Crockett Bog-Myrtle and Peat 294:
A tramp of heavy Galloway brogans was heard.

Phr.: shuffle the brogue, — brog, the game of hunt-the-slipper (Kcb. 1898 A. B. Gomme Dict. Brit. Folk-Lore II. 454; Uls.2 1937).Ayr. 1895 J. Walker Old Kilmarnock 66: 
Another game was "Shovel the brog," in playing at which the boys all sat down with their backs to the wall, while a something- it might be a knife, or a button, or a marble- was passed from one to another. We kept repeating "Shovel the brog, shovel the brog, shovel the brog, brog, brog," while a boy in front endeavoured to find the boy who had it.
n.Ir. 1884 Cruck-a-Leaghan and Slieve Gallion Lays and Leg. of n. Ir. 53:
The oul' game av Shuffle the Brogue. [Footnote: A game generally played at wakes and parties.] [In Tyr., according to Wm. Carleton (1794–1869), this game was known as sitting brogue.]

Used as verb: to play hunt-the-slipper. Also fig.Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick I. v. 75–76:
They sent aff tae Tralooney tae get a claught o' the warlock parchments, but a pauky hizzy that had the keeping o' them . . . wheepet awa in a jiffy, — an' left a wheen o' her ain folk tae shuffle the brog, till she wan aff hale scart hersel' bag and baggage.

[Gael. bròg, Irish bróg, a shoe (MacBain); dim. brògan.]

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"Brogue n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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