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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

COG, n.2 and v.2 Also coag. Sc. uses of Eng. cog. Ayr. has also the form cug. [kɔg, kʌg]

1. n.

(1) “A wedge or support fixed under anything to steady it” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.). Known to Kcb.9 1937; Uls.2 1929; (2) a small iron wedge fixed in a horse's shoe to prevent slipping on ice, a kind of frost-nail (Ork., Cai. (cowg), Abd., Kcd., Ags., Fif., Bwk., Lnk., Wgt. 1975).(2)Abd. 1987 Alexander Fenton Wirds an' Wark 72:
Sharps, also called pikes or cogs, were fixed into cog-holes on the shoes.
Dundee 1987 Norman Lynn Row Laddie Sixty Years On 58:
Prising 'coags' from between the cassies, is not an activity likely to be repeated. These were chisel-edged metal pieces inserted in the shoes of the mighty Clydesdales for providing a grip on the steep slopes of the city.

2. v. “To steady anything that is shaky by wedging it; to place a wedge under a cart-wheel to prevent the cart going down hill” (Ib.); to scotch any kind of wheel (Bnff.2, Abd.22, Kcb.9 1937). Vbl.n. coggin'. Sc. 1731 Musical Miscell. VI. 76:
The coggin' o' the wheel, O.
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Ye had better cog the wheel, or the cart will be o'er the brae; for that beast winna stand still.
Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick iv.:
She was neither to haud nor to bin', an' as for gettin in a word o' reason wi' her, ye micht as weel ha' tried to cog a mill-wheel wi' a spurtle.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Thir Notandums 72:
Having cuggit the bottom ane [barrel] o' the dizzen.

[O.Sc. has only cog = a cog in the machinery of a mill, from 1535 (D.O.S.T.). Origin obscure.]

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"Cog n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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