Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DRAIGLE, v. and n. Also draiggle, †dregle. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. draggle. [′dregəl]

I. v.

1. tr.

(1) As in Eng., to soil, bespatter (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict. Sc. Lang.; Ayr.9 1949); to soak through and through, to drench, esp. in ppl.adj. draigelt (wm.Sc. 1952 Mod. Lang. Rev. (Jan.) 59; Ork., Ags., Per. 1975).em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 220:
'Aye. I'm seik. I need ma bed. At least let me pit on some claes.'
'Aye, cause look at ye. Ye're like somethin the cat decided tae leave oot. Ye're aw sticks, man. Ye're mair a draigelt deck-chair than a human being.'
Ayr. 1796 Burns Comin thro' the Rye i.:
She draigl't a' her petticoatie, Comin thro' the rye! [Cf. 3, below.]

(2) To mix (a dry substance such as meal or flour) with water (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 41; Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1940).Abd.6 1910:
When baking oatcakes we “draggle” the meal.
Abd.8 (Upp. Deeside) 1917:
Draggle up some meal an' water t' the birdies.

Comb.: draigle-beard, colewort boiled in broth. See Drib(b)ly-beards. Sc. 1823 R. McChronicle Legends Scot. II. 122:
It's juste like eating draigle-beard; when ye think it's a' in the spune, oot slips a bit, and dirties a' yer haffits.

2. intr. To move or act slowly (Sc. 1808 Jam., dregle, draigle), often to walk slowly or wearily through rain or mud; to straggle.Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 14:
Da lazy man comes draiglan ashore.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'oo' 10:
He sees the agent, drookit craw, Come draiglin' up the brae.
Ags. 1920 A. Gray Songs 32:
A mither bearin' a lantern Gaes draiglin' through the weet.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 113:
And ither re-enforcements strang That a' that simmer e'enin' lang Cam draiglin' in wi' arms.
Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 113:
And the horse draigled on through the sleet an' the clart, While Johnnie lay taking his nap, O!
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 38:
And so I draigle roun' aboot On drumly nichts by hill and gully.

Hence (1) draiglack, “applied to the last-hatched of a brood of chickens: the youngest and probably the weakest; thence applied jokingly to the youngest member of a family” (Lnl.1 1930); (2) dregler, a dawdler, “one who is slow or heartless at work” (Cld. 1880 Jam.5); (3) draggly, adj., straggly; untidily dressed; (4) comb. draigglie-wallets, a draggletail, a slut (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), also rarely draiggle- (Ib.).(3) Dmf. 1831 J. W. Carlyle New Letters (1903) I. 39:
Nancy from Dumfries . . . was curious, happy, smiling, tho' rather draggly.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan III. xi. 294:
To be gentlewoman-usher to a ewe-milker! — a draggley byre woman!
Dmf. 1850 T. Carlyle in J. A. Froude Life (1884) II. 65:
A strange draggly-wick'd tallow candle.

3. Phr.: to draigle (a woman's) tails, fig. to seduce.Sc. 1930 W. D. Smith in Wkly. Scotsman (25 Oct.) 10/7:
He's draiglet the tails o' a score o' the queans I' the pairish o' Meikle Silventie.
Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 188:
Where the pleasure comes in in draigling their tails is clean ayont my comprehension.

II. n.

1. A dirty, untidy person (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.17, Fif.13, Edb.1 1940; Gall. 1900 E.D.D.); a loose-living character.Abd. 1900 E.D.D.:
She's a weary draggle o' a cratur. He's a fulthy draggle o' a body.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 36:
Limmers, an' cutties, an' hempies, an' draigles, Fear na a name like auld Davie the Beagle's.
Ayr. a.1878 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc., and Poems (1892) 252:
Lord, see him there, wi' sich an' prayer, A fleeching some dresst draigle To come an' keep his aumry bare.
Kcb. 1806 J. Train Poet. Reveries 64:
To her came a rewayl'd draggle, Who had bury'd wives anew.

2. “A wet, dirty condition” (Sc. 1887 Jam.6).Ib.:
What a draigle ye're in!

3. “A feeble ill-grown person” (Ayr. 1825 Jam.2). DRAIGLER, n. One of the invaders in the game of Het rows and butter beans (see Het, adj., Phrs.).Ags. 1894 J. Inglis Oor Ain Folk 111:
All those that had been banished to the outposts came rushing in, attempting to touch number one, who was surrounded by his legion of bonneters, who smacked and thrashed the invaders. . . . When the “draiglers,” as the invading party were called, had touched number one, they in turn became the defending party.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Draigle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: