Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations & symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FOG, n., v. Also fogg; †foge (Ayr. 1700 Arch. and Hist. Coll. Ayr. & Wgt. IV. 197); fug; fowg (Cai.). [Sc. fɔg, Sh., m.Sc. fʌg, Cai. fʌug]

I. n. 1. Moss, lichen, in gen. (Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scotticisms 38; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1700 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 51:
I have sent you some petrified or rather incrustated fogg.
Sc. 1776 Kames Gentleman Farmer 78:
Fog is one of the most pernicious weeds that enter into a grass field.
Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 181:
Green fug, mantlan' owre the sclates, Held out the air.
Lnk. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 X. 335:
A strong thick white moss, vulgarly called fog.
Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 59:
Whar I a whalp had aftimes merry been, An' careless sportit on the fog sae green.
Bwk. 1853 G. Johnston Botany E. Borders 261:
The vulgar do not distinguish mosses specifically. The term. “fog” comprehends many species of Hypna.
Gall. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 295:
They brewed some awful grand kind of drink they ca't Heather Yill out of Heather and some unknown kind of Fogg.
Fif. 1878 “S. Tytler” Scotch Firs II. x.:
Roving stones gatherin' nae fug at the ends o' the earth.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 207:
I saw a wee bit lintie sittin' sad an' lane, His wee bit nest o' fog an' fur lay tatter'd on the green.
Ork. c.1912 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 11:
The youngsters for days before gathered heather, and in some cases a lot of fog, to make a big smoke.
Uls. 1929 J. J. Marshall W.-L.:
Pick a fog, and dab a clay, And carry your water clean away.

2. Moss, as a material in thatching or in packing walls.Abd. 1715 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 197:
The crofters to serve the masson and gather and bring fogg.
Bnff. 1719 W. Cramond Annals of Cullen (1888) 79:
Nine cartfulls of fogg used in slating the steeple.
Gsw. 1725 Gsw. Burgh Rec. (1909) 236:
£87 for tirring of the back shade of the High Kirk at both ends and sclateing of the same, £10 10s. for fog thereto.

3. Combs.: (1) fog-besom, a broom made of moss (Abd.13 1910; Abd. 1952). Cf. quot. to (6); (2) fog-cups, a kind of lichen (see quot.); ‡(3) fog-house, a small house built or lined with mossy turf, gen. used as a garden summer-house (Sc. 1881 N. & Q. III. 90; Abd.16 1952); (4) fogg-moss, a light spongy, moss-covered kind of peat; (5) fog-theekit, thatched or covered with moss (Abd.27 1952); (6) lang fog, see quot.; (7) white fog, reindeer moss, Cladonia rangiferina (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 35).(2) Abd. 1780 Abd. Jnl. (13 Nov.):
Fog Cups are to be found on the Top of old Earthen Dykes, of a greenish mixt Colour.
(3) Bte. 1824 Trans. Bte. Nat. Hist. Soc. I. 35:
Kean's celebrated moss-house, or, as she calls it, fog-house. . . . It was built of wands and white fog.
Dmf. 1830 W. Bennet Traits Sc. Life I. 118:
A further proof of this was afforded by the immediate contiguity of a small fog-house, reared in form of the Primitive Hut, and seated round with rustic benches.
Sc. 1842 C. W. Johnson Farmer's Encycl. 494:
A fog-house means a house built or lined with moss.
(4) Sc. 1805 R. Forsyth Beauties Scot. II. 257:
Yellowish, or fogg-moss, is much less compact than the former [black moss].
(5) Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 8:
Ae night on yon fog-theekit brae, I streek't my weary spauls o' clay.
(6) Kcd. 1900 “W. Gairdner” Glengoyne I. 14:
The old men . . . manufactured mats and brooms from a sort of long fine moss known as “lang fog.”

II. v. 1. To gather moss, to become moss-grown (ne.Sc., Ags. 1952). Also ppl.adj. foggit.Peb. 1715 A. Pennecuik Descr. of Twd. 31:
About this Town [Peebles], both Fruit and Forest trees have a smoother skin than elsewhere, and are seldom seen either to Fog or be Bark-bound.
Sc. 1754 J. Justice Sc. Gardiner 213:
To prevent too great Dampness in the Boxes, and their fogging upon the Surface of the Earth.
Lnk. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XII. 571:
Thorn hedges are generally preferred, but . . . the nature of the soil exposes them to the danger of becoming fogged.
Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Gen. Report Agric. Scot., App. I. 264:
When common tiles have stood some years, and begin to fog, the pores fill up.
Abd. 1924 M. Argo Janet's Choice 16:
I ha'e brocht them up to ken that a rowin stane disna fog.
Sc. 1979 Maurice Lindsay Collected Poems 35:
Oot i the foggit gairden shed twa spiders speil ane clortit web.

2. To use moss to thatch a roof or pack a drystone wall.Ayr. 1704 Ayr. Presb. Register MS. (15 March):
For the workmanship of the slates and foging.
Gsw. 1725 Records Trades Ho. (ed. Lumsden 1934) 108:
To Archibald Aldcorn sklatter for pointing and dressing and fogging of the roofe also in plaistering of five rooms high & laigh £56 0 0
Abd. 1913 J. Allardyce Bygone Days 26:
The houses were dry stone walls, with feal gables, and the roof was covered with divots. There was too much ventilation in winter, as the snow drifted through the crevices. After harvest the women gathered moss and stuffed the worst of the crevices. This work was called “foggin' the wa's.”

3. To pasture (animals) on foggage (m.Lth.1 1953).m.Lth. 1900 Scottish Farmer (24 Nov.):
The good ewes are “fed” before lambing, then “fogged” in the earliest districts.

4. Fig.: to save money, line one's pockets, feather one's nest (Ayr.4 1928; ne.Sc., Ags. 1952); to thrive, prosper (Abd. 1825 Jam.). Ppl.adjs. foggin, thrifty, saving (ne.Sc., Ags. 1952), (weel-) foggit, (well-) provided, well-off as the result of thrift (Id.); vbl.n. foggin, money laid past, savings (Id.). The metaphor is taken from the moss-lined nest of a bird or wild bee (see 1806 quot.).Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 332:
She'd may be frae her test'ment score ye; And better ye were mir'd or bogget, In case auld lucky be well fogget.
Mry. 1806 R. Jamieson Ballads I. 293:
For noucht but a house-wife was wantin' To plenish his weel-foggit byke.
Gall.3 c.1867:
To save money for some special purpose. “I'll no can get shoon to mysel, till I fog a wee.”
Abd. 1913 J. Allardyce Byegone Days 46:
When the laird did not push too closely for his rent in backward seasons the tenant managed not only to make ends meet but gradually to “fog” a little.
Abd. 1933 C. Murray in Abd. Press & Jnl. (16 March):
Belcanny is foggin', wi' siller laid by.
Bch. 1944 C. Gavin Mountain of Light iii. v.:
Her neighbours called her an “earth-worm” and “a richt heather-piker,” but they sometimes added enviously that she must have “a gey foggin in the bank.”

5. To fill (one's stomach) with food; to eat heartily (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.), a fig. use of 2. from the notion of cramming or packing with moss. Comb. fog-meal, a full or hearty meal, “a person who has eaten too much is said to have got a fog-fill, or to be fog-fu'” (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.).Ags. 1848 Montrose Standard (6 Oct.):
We've a' got our wames weel foggit.

[O.Sc. has fog, moss, aftermath of hay, from c.1470, in place-name Fogghou (Fogo), c.1150, of uncertain etym. In the meaning of “aftermath,” the word is St. Eng., Mid.Eng. fog(ge), from which via the adj. foggy, grassy, fat, thick, murky, is thought to derive Eng. fog, mist, and fog, flabbiness. Hence phs. fog-meal above. Cf. Foggie, adj.]

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

"Fog n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jan 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: