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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).

HEGRIE, n. Also hegri, haigrie (Sh. 1856 E. Edmondston Sketches 67); haegrie; haegry; haigry; hagri; hagarie; hagery. [′hɛgri, ′hegri, ′hɪgri]

1. The heron, Ardea cinerea (Sh. 1806 P. Neill Tour Sh. 202, Sh. 1956). Combs. skip hegrie (Neill), hegrie's skip (Sh. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 144), id.Sh. 1810 Scots Mag. (July) 521:
The skiphegrie, or heron, is occasionally seen on the rocks all the year round.
Sh. 1947 Shetland Folk Book I. 67:
De haegri stoorin in a pöl.

2. Applied contemptuously to persons of tall and ungainly appearance (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), hegri, hagri, Sh. 1956).

3. Used gen. attrib. of worsted: thin, loosely-fibred yarn (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).Sh. 1897 Shetland News (12 June):
Dey widna luik at him becaas dey tought he wis made o' hagery wirsit.
Sh. 1898 Ib. (8 Oct.):
“Lass, I tinks hit [worsted]'s haegry!” . . . “Haegry! . . . Hit's a corne o' lambs 'oo', man, an' hit wis awful short.”

[O.N. hegri, a heron, Norw. hegre, id., also of persons.]

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"Hegrie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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