Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
HAGGIS, n. Also heggis; obs. forms hag(g)ish; haggies (Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. i.); haggas(s); hag(a)s (Per. 1737 Ochtertyre Ho. Bk. (S.H.S.) 67–8); haggise.
1. A dish consisting of the pluck or heart, lungs and liver of a sheep minced and mixed with suet, oatmeal, onion and seasoning and boiled in a sheep's maw or stomach. Gen.Sc. Now regarded as a traditionally Scottish dish, but also popular in England until the beginning of the 18th cent. and still made in n.Eng. with some variation of the ingredients. Also used fig. as a term of contempt for a person. Adj. combs. haggis-fed; haggis-headed, fig. blockheaded, stupid.Kcd. 1699 Black Bk. (Anderson 1843) 94:
He saw Carnegie himself have in his hand a hot sheep's haggis.Edb. 1715 A. Pennecuik Works (1815) 412:
Bring haggis-headed William Younger.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 38:
A Man may love a Haggish that wo'd not have the Bag bladed in his Teeth. A Man may say, or do, a Thing in his Airs, and Humour, who would not be told of it again.Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (1925) 57:
Imprimis, then, a haggis fat, Weel tottl'd in a seything pat, Wi' spice and ingans weel ca'd thro'.Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 14:
A piping het haggies, made of the creish of the black boul horn'd Ewe, boil'd in the meikle bag, mixt with bear meal, onions, spice and mint.Ayr. 1787 Burns To a Haggis viii.:
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware, That jaups in luggies, But, if we wish her gratefu' prayer, Gie her a Haggis! [Also haggis-fed (Ib. vii.).]Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxv.:
Here I stand, that hae slashed as het a haggies as ony o' the twa o' ye, and thought nae muckle o' my morning's wark when it was dune.Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xiii.:
The special tup's-head and trotters, the haggis and the side of mutton, with which her table was set forth.Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 186:
If I “would accompany the minister, and take a share of a haggis wi' them.”Dmf. 1822 Carlyle Early Letters (1886) II. 28:
The lazy haggises! they must sink when we shall soar.Lth. 1882 “J. Strathesk” Blinkbonny 187:
Her stews and “hashes,” and haggises and white puddings.m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 43:
Haggis and tripe, and puddin's black, and yill.Sc. 1954 Edb. Ev. News (26 Jan.) 7:
200 people honouring “The Immortal Memory” of Robert Burns on the 195th anniversary of his birthday enthusiastically disposed of a smaller replica. The bigger haggis was feted in the traditional manner. . . At the end of the ode he plunged a long knife into the haggis to prepare portions for the 200 guests. Sc. 1998 Herald (28 Jul.) 5:
The makers of Irn-Bru, a product as Scottish as haggis or fine malt whisky, insist the advert is supposed to be humorous, not offensive. Sc. 1999 Herald (27 Nov.) 30:
I have always loved black pudding and haggis - both wonderful comfort food dishes, as long as you don't give too much thought to their ingredients. Sc. 2001 Evening Times (24 Jan.) 13:
The chain will be supplying its stores throughout the UK with four varieties including a vegetarian haggis which swops meat for lentils. Sc. 2002 Sunday Herald (24 Nov.) 7:
While we in Scotland continue to squabble about the merits of making St Andrew's day a national holiday, in deepest Russia Caledonian expats are wondering merely how they will get their hands on a decent haggis. Sc. 2002 Herald (20 Jan.) 7:
The haggis samosa - to be launched on Friday to coincide with Burns Night - consists of vegetarian haggis, neeps, tatties and spices, and comes complete with tasteful yellow tartan packaging. Sc. 2003 Herald (15 Feb.) 6:
Of all puddings and sausages, black (blood) pudding is probably the oldest. Certainly, it beats haggis in antiquity, with a mention in Homer's Odyssey (circa 1000BC), describing a stomach filled with blood and fat which is roasted over the fire. Sc. 2003 Evening Times (28 Apr.) 41:
Other tasty recipes include Drambuie ice-cream, drop scones, Edinburgh fog (a rich dessert), fish sausages (variation on fish cakes), Turnberry Hotel's haggis millefeuille, het pint (traditional New year drink) and Nick Nairn's pan-fried partridge. Sc. 2003 Herald (17 Jun.) 3:
[Duke Siegfried], Duke of Saalfelden, unveiled McHagmoar in a weekend ceremony complete with Scottish pipers, a druid and, of course, a haggis. Sc. 2003 Herald (9 Sep.) 16:
A generous Tartan Army lieutenant took some visiting Faroe Islanders out for Sunday lunch, introducing them to haggis, neeps, and tatties, which they much enjoyed.
2. The stomach (of a man or animal), the paunch; also used attrib. (Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 40).Abd. 1755 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 28:
The second chiel was a thick, setterel, swown pallach, wi' a great chuller oner his chocks, like an ill scraped haggis.Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 210:
Away then John goes to the amry and lays to the haggies, till his ain haggies cou'd had nae mair.Bnff. 1851 Trans. Bnff. Field Club (1939) 38:
I seed them taken up, desected, and their Haggises carried off to be analised.
3. A botched job, a mess (Ork. 1956).Ork. 1929 Marw.:
He'll just mak a haggis o' the job. Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 119:
"Wur lossin'," moaned Eustace. "Harray's winnin' iss wen-noathing. Nathaniel Swenney is playin' in thee pliss, an' makkin' the most aafil heggis o' id that thoo iver saa. ... "
4. Used as an epithet for the second day's auction (sc. of inferior or mixed quality) at a large sheep sale.Rxb. 1851 Edb. Ev. Courant (25 Sept.):
The result of yesterday was realised on the sale stance to-day. Although a few lots of good sheep appeared, it was allowed, being “Haggis” (or second day), that the dealers who were not supplied would . . . give an impetus to the market, but in this they were disappointed.
5. Phrs. and combs.: (1) haggis-bag, the sheep's stomach in which a haggis is cooked (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1956); also used fig. = a windbag, a piece of empty nonsense; †(2) haggies kail, the water or broth in which a haggis has been boiled; (3) haggis royal, a rich kind of haggis (Sc. 1837 M. Dods Manual 304); (4) sweet haggis, see quot.; (5) white haggis, id.(1) Sc. 1787 S. MacIver Cookery 71:
Make the haggies-bag perfectly clean. . . . Put all the haggies-meat into the bag.Sc. 1819 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 676:
It is more like an empty haggis-bag than any thing else.Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption v.:
“Principles! haggis bags!” exclaimed the lady.Sc. 1870 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 42:
And he ate up a' the haggis bag, and his name was Aiken Drum.(2) Sc. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 52:
Wi' puddin broe or haggies' kail. Or something maks a battin meal.(4) Kcb.10 1956:
There was also a white or sweet haggis, of suet, oatmeal, currants, etc., cooked and sliced when cold and hard.
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"Haggis n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/haggis>