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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

GAIG, n., v. Also geg, gag; gyag (Cai. and Kcb.), gagger. [geg, gɛg, g(j)ɑ:g]

I. n. 1. A crack or chink, as in dry wood (Lnk. 1825 Jam.; Cai.7, Kcb., Dmf., 1953). Ags. 1993 Mary McIntosh in Joy Hendry Chapman 74-5 112:
He pit his ee tae the gaig. It wis the skimmer o a caunle, the low gien smaa licht. The har on the back o his craig prinkled at the pewlin soon cummin oot o that bleck pit.

2. A chap in the hands (Lnk. 1825 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 217, gaig; Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 26; Bnff.2 1946; Ayr. (geg), Kcb. (gag), Dmf. 1953).

3. “A deep, ragged cut, or wound” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 225, gag(ger); Bnff.2 1946), a large, festering sore (Gregor, gagger).

II. v. †1. To crack, in consequence of heat or drought (Upp. Cld., Lnk. 1825 Jam., geg). Sc. 1726 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 198:
Mind, O mind! ye're Made of Clay whilk if ye keepna blythy sappy ye'll gyssen geg & mool decay.

2. To chap (of the hands) (Ib.; Cai. 1900 E.D.D., gaig; ‡Cai.7, Kcb.10 1953).

3. “To cut or wound deeply, with the idea of a ragged edge” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 225; Bnff.7 1927).

[O.Sc. has gaig, to split or crack, 1585, gaggit, cracked, chapped, c.1590; Gael. gàg, Ir. gág, a cleft, chink, chap.]

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"Gaig n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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