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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

DAG, Deg, Dig, Dog, int. Also dags, dogs. A mild form of oath; used as an imprecation = confound! Known to Cai.7 (rare), Bnff.2, Abd.9 (deg), Abd.2, Abd.16 (dag) 1939. Also found in w.Yks. dial. (E.D.D.). Often in expression dag it, confound it! (Bnff.4 1926), deggit, idem.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 36:
Dag or dags you!
Bnff. 1924 Burnie's Jeannie in Swatches 22:
Here I've been festent up in a black weskit made naar han' twenty 'ear syne, an' deggit! it's shrunken.

Also used with on = above, and in phrs. (1) dog-a-bit, confound it!; (2) dag (dog) on (i)t, dagon'd, digont, id.; used as an adj. = confounded, and as an adv. = confoundedly. Known to Bnff.2 (dag on), Abd.9, Ags.17, Lnk.3, Kcb.1 1939; Per., Fif., Lth. Wilson; (3) dags (dogs) rabbit it, = (1) (ne.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (4) deg the bit, = indeed! really!, an expression of surprise.Sc. 1929 Scots Observer (31 Oct.) 19:
“Dagon auld wives' tales” she exclaimed.
Ags. 1891 (2nd ed.) J. M. Barrie Little Minister iii.:
Dagon that manse! I never gie a swear but there it is glowering at me.
(1) Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 84:
When Johnny Muir was crossing the threshold of any house in which he had to perform anything disagreeable to the occupants and himself, he was heard saying, “Dog-a-bit! it's no my fau't; dinna blame me.”
(2) Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 105:
Dog on it, if I don't believe you are the author . . . yourself.
Sc. 1874 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 121:
When the stone missed, he would, unable to restrain himself, call out, “Dag on't, Eglinton, ye've spoil't a'.”
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) vi.:
It was an awful business; dog on it, I aye wonder yet how I got through with it.
Edb. 2000:
Dag on it! Every mornin Ah keep missin the bus.
Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 244:
That dagon'd buffer o' a wife Wi' her “Och-on, och-rie!”
Lnk. 1893 T. Stewart Miners 203:
For trade's sae dagont dull, That noo the best I ever taste 'S a drink o' drumlie yull.
Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 52:
Digont, diddan you tell me, or oo cam' up here, that that wis twa-an'-six?
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 70:
Dag on't! it was a black burning shame.
(3) Rxb. 1868 in Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 29:
Dogsrabbit it, what's keepit ye, ye lazy molehead?
(4) Bnff. 1923 At the Games in Bnffsh. Jnl. (24 July) 2:
“It's a' he diz.” “Deg the bit.”

[Origin obscure. Prob. a corruption of God (damn, dang, etc.). Some variations are due to confusion with dog: cf. American slang dog-gone, dog on, doggoned, id. (D.A.E.).]

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"Dag interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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