Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FLAG, n.5, v.2

I. n. A large snow-flake (Mry. 1825 Jam.; n.Sc. 1951). Also in n.Eng. dial. Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 1:
Like flags when weaving braed they fa' The heralds o' a hurricane o' snaw.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 20:
Now the snaw in spune-drift flew, And fient a flag was on him.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 154:
When snow is falling in flakes (“flags”) the saying is that the folks in Orkney are plucking geese.

II. v. Of snow, to fall in large flakes (Abd.7 1925; Bnff.2 1942). Vbl.n. flagin, a large snow-flake (Abd. 1951); “a piece of thin, flaky material. Used rather loosely now, and in a generally contemptuous manner” (Ork. 1929 Marw., flagan). Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 47:
It flaggit on a' day yesterday.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
Heave awa' that muckle flagan o' dirt.

[Cogn. with flake. Cf. Dan. sneflage, snow-flake, Norw. dial. flak, a flake of anything, flakna, flagna, to flake off, O.N. flakna, id.]

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"Flag n.5, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



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