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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

HARIGALS, Also harrigals, -ells, -ills, harragles, harigalds (mainly s.Sc.), haricles, -galls, -gles, -kels; -gards (Ags. 1956). [′hɑrɪgəl(d)z]

1. The viscera of an animal, entrails of a fowl, the pluck (Sc. 1808 Jam., harigalds, haricles; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., harigal(d)s). Gen.Sc. Also used occas. of human beings.Sc. 1702 Foulis Acc. Bk. (S.H.S.) 305:
for a syde of lamb . . . 1. 0. 0 for harigalls and head . . 0. 6. 0
Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 36:
He that never eats flesh thinks harigalds a feast.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 112:
If my harigals were turn'd out, ye wad see twa nicks i' the heart o' me.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail vii.:
The various forms in which the head and harigals of the sheep, . . . were served up.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) II. 288:
I wish you had torn the harigalds of the old brock.
Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption xxxvii.:
Ye're no rinning the same risk o' getting a swurd in yer kyte or a ball through yer harragles.
Gall. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer xxxiv.:
May they burn back and front, ingate and outgate, hide, hair, and harrigals.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 5:
Scots an Ingleesh in a fraineeshin, fidgin mad-keen ti teer the harrigals oot o other.
ne.Sc. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 8:
The boats ride up the stream with a purr from their engines while a fisherman washes down the decks with a bucket deftly thrown in and drawn from the river. Another throws a last offering of harrigals to the birds; ...
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 14:
The skillet skailed, bluid struled
Sutherland cursed tae hae
Sic reid hauns.
Hingin thro the sinnons
O its hin haughs
Harrigals fleitin in watter
The swine swayed
And the bern bauks creaked.

2. Fig. and metaph. uses:Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. iv. i.:
I think I've towzl'd his Harigalds a wee; He'll no soon grein to tell his Love to me.
e.Lth. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes & Sk. 137:
A fit and convenient — albeit cracked — receptacle into which one can disgorge his overcharged harrigals of their superfluous cogitations.
Sc. 1914 R. B. C. Graham Sc. Stories 59:
Man, he garred the very stour to flee aboot the Kirk, and, hadna' the big book been weel brass banded, he would hae dang the haricles fair oot.
Abd.28 1948:
On seeing some fancy cooking: “Ye'll hae us a' poushioned wi' yer harigals!”

3. Phr.: head and harigald money, money payable to mining serfs when a child was born. Hist. Harigald here may be possibly a corruption of Arle, earnest money, given in similar circumstances to colliers (see H. G. Graham Social Life Scot. (1899) II. 266).Sc. 1829 Scott Redgauntlet xxi. Note:
They [colliers and salters] esteemed the interest taken in their freedom to be a mere decree on the part of the proprietors to get rid of what they called head and harigald money, payable to them when a female of their number, by bearing a child, made an addition to the live stock of their master's property.

4. By extension: a very emaciated person or creature, or their remains; in gen., a fragment or remnant (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), harikels). Cf. Harrowbill.

[Prob. ad. Fr. haricot, a ragout, a hash of mutton and vegetables.]

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"Harigals n. pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Oct 2022 <>



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