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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HALTAGONGA, int. Also (h)altagongi (Jak.), haltugong(g)a. An expression used, in fishermen's tabu-language, as a kind of spell to check the running of a big fish after it has been hooked (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., haltugonga, 1914 Angus Gl., haltugongga).Sh. 1919 T. Manson Peat Comm. III. 179:
Oh, “altagongi?” Och, dats da wird at da ould men said at da haaf whin a big turbot wis laek ta set aff wi da line . . . Yon wird means, “stop rinnin.”
Sh. 1949 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 132:
The halibut was difficult to deal with and when there was a danger of a big fish breaking the line the men would shout out haltagongi (stop running), which in English would have been quite innocuous but in Norn was invariably effective.

[Ad. O.N. haltú gǫngu, “stop your going”]

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"Haltagonga interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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