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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GEGGIE, n. Also gegie, gaggie. A travelling theatrical show of a rather crude type, generally held in a tent; “any portable theatre thrown up on a waste piece of ground” (Lnk. 1928 H. Lauder Roamin' in the Gloamin' 56); often, from the admission price, penny geggie (Per. c.1880, Ags., Lnk.11, Ayr.8, Kcb.10 c.1910). Also attrib and fig. [′gɛgi]Gsw. c.1835 R. Lawson Scots Stage (1917) 235:
That historical institution, beloved of our grandsires, Mumford's Geggie.
Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems & Sk. 16:
Glasgow Fair was then in all its glory, being held annually on Glasgow Green; and it almost goes without saying that young Willox sometimes neglected his duties to witness the glories of the “geggie”.
Dmb. 1931 A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle i. i.:
This is the first night of Levenford Fair. I saw the start o' the stinking geggies on my way home.
Ags. 1944 Scots Mag. (April) 9:
He arranged a programme: of discussions, music and ploys of his own peculiar kind, dramas to be acted in the style of the penny geggie in Lindsay Street.
wm.Sc. 1952 T. Johnston Memories 14:
The gaggie shed or theatre was built of wooden partitions.
Sc. 1986 Alasdair Cameron in Joy Hendry Chapman 46 33:
Joe Corrie, though a disciple of realism in the theatre, also owes much to the popular theatre, especially to the penny geggies whose plays he celebrated and emulated. The geggies specialised in performing Shakespeare in half an hour and melodrama in half that time.
Fif. 1992 Simon Taylor Mortimer's Deep 248:
'Whit did ye sey, Brither? They want us tae sail the nicht? Ye're jestin. A thocht aa yon geggie wis jaist fur the lairds an ladies. ... '

[Cf. Geg, n.2 and Eng. gag, a “made-up” story, and the theatrical term gag.]

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"Geggie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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