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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

COLLEAGUE, Collig, Kollig, Collug, v. and n. Cf. Collogue. [kɔ′li(:)g Sc., but Ork. + kɔ′lʌg, Abd., Ags. + kɔ′lɪg]

1. v. Colleague now obsol. in Eng. but still alive in Sc.

(1) To associate with, to be friendly with (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1937). Gen. with derogatory flavour, although without insinuation of evil.Abd. 1922 Abd. Weekly Free Press (7 Jan.) 1/1:
Mains had seen to it that the lads who were invited should find the girls there with whom they were known to “collig,” . . . and this fact in itself made the meeting all the more enjoyable to them.
Edb. 1851 A. Maclagan Sk. from Nature 147:
When ye was aff to Folly's fair, Wi' other jades colleaguin'.

(2) To associate with for purposes of crime or mischief, to plot, conspire (Ork. 1911 J. Spence in Old-Lore Misc., Ork., Sh., etc. IV. iv. 187, collug; Abd.19 1937). Vbl.n. colleaguin'. Hence ¶colleaguery, collusion.Sc. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables frae the French 54:
There was colleaguin' 'tween the ither twa: They'd kill him whan he cam', divide his share!
Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xix.:
He had gotten Bandy Wobster to kollig wi' him to gie Lawson a richt fleg.
Ayr. 1789 Burns Capt. Grose's Peregrinations (Cent. ed.) iii.:
Wi' deils, they say, Lord safe's! colleaguin At some black art.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Steam-Boat xii.: 
By the help and colleaguery of the twa.

2. n. Collusion. Cf. Caloogew.Sc. 1869 A. Macdonald Settlement (1877) 166:
Hoo he did it I dinna ken, beenna he was in colleague wi' the auctioneer.

[O.Sc. colleg(e), to join or associate as allies (D.O.S.T.); E.M.E. collige, colleague, O.Fr. colliguer, to unite, league together, Lat. colligare, to gather together. The n. colleg, colleig, and collig, partnership, alliance, is also given in D.O.S.T.]

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"Colleague v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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