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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).

HOG, n.2 Also hoeg (Edm.); heog; hyoag (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 106); hjo(a)g (Jak., Angus); hjok-, hjuk-, hyuck-. Cf. How, n.2 [h(j)ɔg]

1. A hill, a height, now gen. in place-names (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., hjog).Sh. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 37:
Two conical points called Heogs, one of them, much higher than the other, and supposed to have been anciently a place where courts of law were held.

Hence applied to any outstanding feature of a hill seen from the sea and taken as a landmark (Ork. 1929 Marw.).Ork.1 1933:
Wir fishin-grund is seven hogs aff Marwick Heed, i.e. the boat is so far out to the west that the seven hills of Birsay are in sight in succession to the North.

2. A burial mound or tumulus, a barrow (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.).

3. Combs.: (1) hogboon, -boy, a mound-dweller, a brownie (Ork. 1929 Marw.); (2) hjogfinni, (a) n., a dwarf or brownie; a strange odd-looking person; (b) adj., odd, mysterious, strange, old-fashioned (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); lucky, fortunate (Edm.); (3) högfolk, elves, brownies.(1) Ork. 1885 Peace's Almanac 133:
I meant to pour the wine on the house-know whar the Hogboon bides, for good luck to the wedding.
Ork. 1922 P. Ork. A.S. 28:
The Hogboon or Hogboy was a familiar personage in days gone by. Every important mound was supposed to be inhabited by such a being.
(2) (a) Sh. 1897 J. Jakobsen Dial. 47:
An odd-looking person is called in Unst and Yell a hjokfinni, which means properly “somebody or something found in a burial mound”.
(b) Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 26:
And a person whose odd, eccentric appearance and actions would lead to the supposition that “they could dö mair dan maet demsels,” was termed a Hjokfinnie body.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Dey had some auld hjogfinni tings gaderd op aboot dem, naebody kent o'.
(3) Ork. 1884 R. M. Fergusson Rambles 195:
Disease caused by such evil elves could only be cured by a charmer or a Kloka män, who were once numerous enough in the northern isles. A portion of these elves were known as Hill-people or Högfolk.

[Norw. dial. haug, hog, O.N. haugr, mound, barrow, hillock. For the combs., cf. Norw. haugbonde, -bue, -folk, dweller(s) in mounds, troll(s).]

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"Hog n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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