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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LUG, n.1, v.1 Also lugg; loog (Cai.), lowg (Fif.). Dim. luggie. [lʌg; Cai., Mry. coast, lug; Fif. + lʌug]

I. n. 1. (1) The ear, as part of the head, the external ear of man and animals (Sc. 1755 Johnson Dict., 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. In pl. as an epithet for a person with prominent ears (Abd., Per., m.Lth. 1961). Hence lugless, without ears.Sc. 1700 Fountainhall Decisions II. 106:
They sentenced him to be carried, on Friday, the market-day, betwixt 11 and 12 in the forenoon, by the Hangman, to the Trone, with a paper on his breast, bearing the cause, and to have his lug nailed thereto, and to return to prison during the Lords pleasure.
Sc. 1717 Rec. Conv. Burghs (1915) 177:
That [carcases] have tuo blood holes with lugs.
ne.Sc. a.1725 Habbyac on A. Ramsay 5:
Kynd, honest, lugless, thick-scull'd Birds! Sonce fa their Gruinies.
Sc. 1770 R. Forbes Journals (Craven 1886) 300:
The poor Brutes held out wonderfully well, and cock'd their Lugs when they came in sight of Maryburgh.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 9–10:
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs, Shew'd he was nane o' Scotland's dogs.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxiv.:
I could gar my whip walk about their lugs.
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 113:
The Pierian spring? Ye never douked your lugs intil't, I'm sure.
Sh. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vii. 270:
Lang an last, da laird grippit him be da lug.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 22:
Sometimes he chapped him on the nose, and then on the lug.
Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems 9:
Div ye mind 'e greasy grunter wi' his muckle flappin' loogs.
Abd.7 1925:
“I'll haud ye b' the lug tull ye're forty” is another way of saying to a person who desires to keep her age a secret that she is near that or any specified age.
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 28:
"Dottan indeed. Thoo're workin' for a right skelp on the lug, Henrietta Kirkness."
Kcd. 1961:
Of a glib persuasive person: He wad gar ye trow that ae thing was twa an your lug half a bannock.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 7:
Flipote! you're staunin' in a dwamm like a big daft dug!
Get a move oan or Ah'll gie you a skelp on the lug,
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 17:
here's the wyce tune
aince mair awa an' dinnillin lugs
wi a wow! that disna lippen on drugs
but's a ferlie gien a dicht tae the glum,
tae ilka thowless squeef, tae aa we've become.
Edb. 1995 Irvine Welsh Marabou Stork Nightmares (1996) 35:
On top of all my other Strang defects, I had to be cursed with those protruding lugs.
wm.Sc. 1998 Alan Warner The Sopranos (1999) 152:
Manda, one arm down, the hand fishing in her bag while she leaned over to yell in Orla's lug, goes, ...

Phr.: da horse wi da reid lugs, hailstones (Sh. (Fair Isle) 1961).

Deriv. lugget, luggit, -id, lugard, loogard (Cai.), a blow or box on the ear (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 138; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; I.Sc., Cai. 1961).Arg. 1882 Arg. Herald (3 June):
Unco little wad gar me fesh ye a luggat wad make ye leuk twa roads for Sunday.
Ork. 1910 Old-Lore Misc. III. i. 29:
Tammy wad mabe gaen a luggid tae ony ane at darred say dere waasna ony seek tings.
Cai.1 1928:
He gied him a loogard 'at tirled him.
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 36:
"I wish he wur here cheust noo," gritted Bella. "He wid git a geud lugget fae me. Fat indeed. A'm no fat, am I Mansie?"
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 94:
Sheu lashed oot at peur Bobby wae twa proper luggits.

¶(2) In pl.: as an epithet for the hare. Cf. lang lugs s.v. Lang, I. 6. (36).Abd. 1920 G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 18:
An' weyt till my Tinker sen's “lugs” tae my wyle.

2. (1) The ear, as the organ of hearing, the internal ear. Gen.Sc. Also attrib. as in lug-ache (Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 275), lug-disease (Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems II. 118), lug-drum (Gsw. 1865 J. Young Pictures 169), lug-trumpet (Sc. 1830 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 54), all in liter. and somewhat artificial usage only. Also lugful, an earful, a dressing down.Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 78:
He said to me, its bawdy, I had best hark it, Lend me your Lug, Giles, and I'll round it in.
Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 172:
Lend but your lug this anes.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Scotch Drink i.:
An' crabbit names an' stories wrack us, An' grate our lug.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality iv.:
Round into his lug I wad be blythe o' his company to dine wi' me.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 34:
A hungry wame has nae lugs.
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod vi.:
Hingin' at a quean's apron-strings, and filling her lug wi' idle havers.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
The voice of him was like a solan's and dinnled in folks' lugs.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's ii. 2:
Gin ye'll gie tentie lug to the ca' o' wisdom, An' ettle yer hairt to guid understaun'in.
Bnff. 1922 Banffshire Jnl. (26 Sept.) 6:
Fan meal-an'-ale th' table croons, An' hame-brewn sets th' lugs a crackin'.
Cai. 1955 Edb. John o' Groat Lit. Soc.:
Sanny could hardly believe his loogs.
Sc. 1999 Herald (28 Aug) 6:
It would have horrified Carlton-Browne and his chums at the FO, but yesterday Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was at the Asda in Almondvale getting a lugful from punters. ... Robin Cook sat down at Formica as the first MP to hold a surgery in a supermarket.

(2) By extension: a hidden recess from which one might overhear the conversation in a room, a secret oratory. Only hist.Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxxiii.:
A lurking place called the King's lugg, or ear, where he could sit undescried, and hear the converse of his prisoners.
Abd. 1887 MacGibbon and Ross Castell. and Domest. Architecture Scot. II. 230:
These contrivances by which an unsuspecting confidence might be betrayed were characteristically denominated “lugs” or ears, and one of them enclosed in the concealment of the wall was lately discovered at Castle Fraser.
Kcd. 1951 People's Jnl. (14 July):
Another feature of the tower room is the Laird's Lug, in the corner adjoining the outside staircase. This was a primitive form of hidden listening post used by the laird, during his absence from the dinner table, to keep in touch with the current trend of loyalty or treachery among his guests.

3. By extension, of any projecting part of an object, esp. one by which it may be handled, attached or lifted: (1) a flap of a cap or bonnet, or shoe, the corner of a piece of cloth, one of the wings on the back of a chair to protect the sitter from draught, the handgrips at the top of a full sack (Gall. 1902 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc. Also fig.Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 30:
He has a bee in his bonnet lug.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxvi.:
King William caused Breadalbane distribute twenty thousand gude punds sterling amang them, and it's said the auld Hieland Earl keepit a lang lug o't in his ain sporran.
Ayr. 1822 J. Goldie Poems 115:
Cock yer bonnet hie, An' frae its lug let tartans flee.
Sc. 1869 R. Chambers Hist. Rebellion 362:
One of the lugs of those identical brogues which the Prince wore.
Sh. 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 45:
Dey hed aald bain soles for da shoddeen An peerie bress pies i da lugs.
m.Sc. 1928 O. Douglas Eliza for Common xxviii.:
Two arm-chairs — you know the kind with “lugs”?

(2) A projecting flange or spike on an iron instrument, as a turf-spade (ne.Sc. 1961).Sc. 1703 W. Maitland Hist. Edb. (1753) 329:
That each Fyre-master and his Assistants have one large Hand-aix made with Luggs, nailed to the Shaft.
Abd. 1794 J. Anderson Peat Moss 4–5:
For this purpose it [peat] is cut with great facility by means of a narrow wooden spade shod at the point with a little iron, and having on one side fixed a kind of knife arising from it at right angles, vulgarly called the spade lug.

(3) The handle of a cup, mug, pitcher, tub or the like, often one of a pair on either side of the dish. Gen.Sc., also in n.Eng. dial. For phr. frae lug to laggin, see Laggin, n.2Sc. 1700 Edb. Gazette (29 March):
Lost at the Late great Fire, a pair Silver Tumblers, a Silver Dish with two Luggs.
Mry. 1729 W. Cramond Grant Court Bk. (1897) 28:
For stealing the copper lugs from a kettle belonging to the Laird of Grant.
Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 34:
A charger, then, if ye wa'd ken, Is just a twasome bicker, Wi' painted lugs.
Sc. 1818 Scott Leg. Montrose iv.:
The lady's auld posset dish, that wants the cover and one o' the lugs.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
The “lugs of a pat” are the little projections in a pot, resembling staples, into which the boul or handle is hooked.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 67:
Seven kin' o' crocks wi' narrow necks and lugs to them on ilka side to lift by.
Ags. 1912 A. Reid Forfar Worthies 8:
C'wa an' gi'e the Laird o' Bonnymune a lug o' ma basket.
Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. 11:
The sae was a water-tub, with lugs . . . through which a long round stick called the sae-tree was passed, when the sae was carried to and from the well.
Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 16:
Baiky, wood bucket, scoop shaped, with lugs on each side.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 33:
Shu aye gaes him a dad apo da lip o' da tub or da lug o' da kettle.
Arg. 1952 N. Mitchison Lobsters on the Agenda xix.:
The men came late back. It's aye the same wi' the spring work. Never through and fit to eat the lug off the teapot when they come in.

(4) The corner of a herring-net (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 109; Uls. 1953 Traynor; ne.Sc., Ags. 1961), see also Fit, III. 20, Heid, I. 4. (8). Combs.: black-lug, white —, see 1842 quot.; lug-stane, see 7.m.Lth. 1842 Blackwood's Mag. (March) 303:
Ye see afore we gang out wi' the boats and the nets, we aye drink to a white lug. A corner of the nets is what we ca' a lug, ye see. An' a white lug is, when we may be a' sleepin' in the boat except one man, and he pulls up the corner o' the net to see if there's anything in't. An' if it looks white and glitterin' like siller, and has, maybe, half a barrel o' herrin' in't, and the man that sees that, cries “A white lug, men” . . . But if the corner comes up, that's a black lug.
Sc. 1864 J. M. Mitchell The Herring 92:
The ends of each net are strengthened by being attached to a rope (or cords of two or three plies joined together), which ends are termed in certain coasts lugs.

(5) A loop on the end of a fishing-line (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., Sh. 1961).Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 89:
Bend da lug, William, an' lat's get da cappie ta da boddom.

(6) A clasp of iron covering the joints in the keel of a boat (Fif. 1951).

(7) One of the adjusting wings of the muzzle of a plough (Arg.1 1937; Cai., Bnff., Lth., Wgt. 1961).Abd. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (29 May) 3:
The “head” [of the plough] consisted of two “lugs” gracefully moulded and welded to the “beam”.

4. The pectoral fin of a fish and its attachments (see 1883 quot.). Gen.Sc.Sh. 1836 Chambers's Jnl. (Dec.) 388:
Want of sufficient attention to the cleaning of the fish, bits of gut being allowed to remain, and the interior membrane, or, to speak in our own dialect, the black striffin, left in the lugs of the fish.
Abd. 1879 G. Macdonald Sir Gibbie liii.:
Gien ye wad tak a lug o' a Fin'on haddie wi' me at nine o'clock, I wad be prood.
Kcd. 1883 Fish and Fisheries (Herbert) 108:
The pectoral bone — shoulder girdle or humeral arch — is thereby torn from its place, and the ligaments and sinews of the pectoral fin are ruptured. These, with their muscular attachments, are technically known as the “lug” of the fish; and on their retention in situ depends the hanging of the fish in the smoke kiln, the spit on which they are hung being passed through the “lug”.
Sc. 1946 F. M. McNeill Recipes Scot. 28:
A “haddock lug” (the flesh behind the “ear”) has always been considered a tit-bit.
Sh. 1955 New Shetlander No. 42. 24:
Dat luik seldom fails dee a morsel ta bring, Da tail o' a bresmic or lug o' a ling.

5. The side-wall of the recessed part of the wide old-fashioned chimney, the chimney corner (n.Sc., em.Sc.(a), Uls. 1961). Freq. in comb. chimlay lug and mostly liter.Ayr. 1786 Burns Ep. to Davie i.:
While frosty winds blaw in the drift, Ben to the chimla lug.
Ayr. 1804 Galt Lit. Life (1834) II. 215:
Foy, ripe the ribs frae lug to lug And pack the chumla fu'.
Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rhymes 94:
Leal auld friends were seated snug, Down by the couthy chimla lug.
Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie xii.:
He likit the lug o' the kitchen fire best.
Sh. 1888 B. R. Anderson Broken Lights 92:
For, plantit snug beside da lug, Da rogue ne'er seemed ta tire.
Uls. 1900 A. McIlroy Craig-Linnie Burn 15:
If there was one really ugly thing about the cottage it was the great, gaunt kitchen-chimney “lug.”
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 44:
Wi' the country cryin' for mair to come, What man could bide at the lug o' the lum?

6. One end of a rower's seat in a boat. ? But see also Nug.Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 111:
When a crew assembled at their boat at the beginning of the season, each man had his “ain lug o' da taft,” or seat for pulling.

7. Combs.: (1) dog's lugs, see Dog, III. 2. (19); (2) lug-bab, a rosette or ribbon-knot worn on a cap or bonnet over the ear (Fif. 1825 Jam.); (3) lug-bane, -ben, -been, the bone behind the pectoral fin of a fish (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., -ben; I.Sc. 1961). Cf. 4.; (4) lug-cap, a covering for the ears worn by horses as a protection against flies or for decoration (Abd. 1961); (5) lug-chair, an arm-chair with side-wings (Bnff. 1900). Cf. 3. (1). Gen.Sc.; (6) lug-fin, the pectoral fin of a fish; (7) lug-haul, v., to pull by the ears; (8) lughole, An earhole. (Sh., Ork., Bnff., Ags., Fif., Edb., Gsw., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s); (9) lug-hook, a hook in the thwart behind the mast of a sailing boat in which the tack is fixed when the boat is running before the wind (Cai. 1961); (10) lug-horn, a stethoscope; (11) lug-knot, = (2); (12) lug-lachet, a box on the ear (Abd. 1825 Jam.); (13) lug-latch, to eavesdrop, to listen surreptitiously. For the second element see Latch, v.; (14) lug-length, the range of hearing, earshot; (15) lug-lock, a curl hanging behind the ear; (16) lug-mark, n., a mark of ownership cut on the ear of an animal, gen. a sheep, an ear-mark (Peb. 1802 C. Findlater Agric. Peb. 191; Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai., Per. 1902 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.; also more gen. of any recognisable mark; v., to make such a mark, lit. and fig. Ppl.adj. lug-markit, ear-marked; (17) lug-reuts, the “roots” of the ear, the depths or innermost part of the ear; (18) lug-sky, a projecting “ear” or wing of the mould-board of the old Ork. plough fixed above the sky or mould-board proper (Ork. 1814 J. Shirreff Agric. Ork. 51); ‡(19) lug-stane, -steen, one of a series of stones attached to the lower corners of a herring-net or salmon weir to make it hang perpendicularly in the water (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 109; n.Sc. 1961). Cf. 3. (4). In 1738 quot. appar. an anchor-stone; ¶(120) lug-yerk, to beat about the ears. See Yerk.(2) Sc. 1733 W. Thomson Orpheus Caled. I. 55:
And Craig-cloths, and Lugg-babs, and Rings twa or three.
(3) Bnff. 1876 S. Smiles Life of a Naturalist 362:
That part of the head known as the “lug been”, a bone usually given to the children of the family to pick.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (3 Sept.):
Shü pood da lug banes oot o' da head cut o' a piltick.
(4) Rxb. 1917 Kelso Chron. (1 June) 2:
The brilliant “lugcaps,” the ribbon pleatings in mane and tail.
(5) Arg. 1898 N. Munro J. Splendid iv.:
He composed himself in a lug chair and dovered.
Gall. 1935 Gallov. Annual 5:
Aunt Charlotte in her “lug” arm chair on one side of the hearth.
Sc. 1938 St Andrews Cit. (27 Aug.) 12:
Lug Easy Chair, with Cabriole Legs.
(6) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (26 Nov.):
I brook aff da tails an' lug fins o' da pilticks.
(7) Slk. 1829 Hogg Shep. Cal. I. vii.:
Speak plain out, else I'll have thee lug-hauled, thou dwarf!
(8)Abd. 1981 Jack Webster A Grain of Truth (1988) 102:
I cleared my throat of a turnip and apologised for the straw in my left lughole.
(10) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 164:
When he speaks of this new lug-horn and ither playocks of ane Doctor Layneck.
(11) Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 9:
And our bride's maidens were na few, Wi' tap-knots, lug-knots, a' in blew.
(13) Abd. 1887 Bon-Accord (17 Dec.) 17:
The “lug-latchin'” eavesdropping wives of Carron are now laid up with severe colds. Listening at windows is no joke when Boreas is abroad.
(14) w.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 83:
For fear there might be ony strange dogs within lug-length o' you.
(15) Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poems 80:
Or pearls hung in gowden ring, That near the ladies' luglocks hing.
(16) Sc. 1748 Session Papers, Stewart v. MacFarlane Proof 2:
A stript branded Quey of the same Age and Lugg-marks.
s.Sc. 1802 Prophecy in 19th Cent. 18:
There was na a public-house, or jilly shop, or coffee-house, or hotel, in a' Embro', but what Jock kent by lug mark.
Ags. 1825 Jam.:
An old Angus laird, who was making a visit to a neighbouring baronet, on observing that one of the young ladies had both earrings and patches, cried out in apparent surprise, in obvious allusion to the means employed by store-farmers for preserving their sheep; “Wow, wow! Mrs Janet, your father's been michtilie fleyed for tyning you, that he's baith lug-markit ye and tar-markit ye.”
Ayr. 1848 J. Ramsay Woodnotes 191:
[She] kent by lug-mark every ane Upon whose lot was poured, For his or predecessor's sin, The judgments o' the Lord.
Abd. 1875 G. Macdonald Malcolm II. xxi.:
Nane o' yer hearkenin' at the keye-hole, though, or I s' lug-mark ye, ye —!
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Stickit Minister (1898) 68:
Every sentence has got the “Gallowa' lug-mark” plain on it.
Sh. 1939 A. C. O'Dell Hist. Geog. 94:
“Lug marks”, or ear markings [of sheep].
Dmf. 1958 Dmf. & Gall. Standard (22 Nov.):
Blackfaced Wedder Lamb Found on Birkbush Hill; owner give lug marks.
(17) Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 124:
For he wad sleep if twinty cocks at his lug-reuts wur crawan.
(19) Slk. 1738 T. Craig-Brown Hist. Slk. (1886) II. 106:
Fixing a sufficient timber frame and lug-stones upon the bank from foot of Philipburn to the bridge.
Bnff. 1885 Folk-Lore Jnl. III. 308:
A white stone is not used as a “lug-steen”.
Abd. 1891 R. Kirk N. Sea Shore xiii.:
He had the net hung along the fence, and was so fixing it to the back-rope, that when in the sea, the cork floats in the upper edge pulling upwards, and the “lug-stanes” in the lower edge pulling downwards, should cause the mesh to assume the form of a somewhat slim ace of diamonds.
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS. iv.:
They set their nets wi' bows and lug stanes.
(20) Per. 1881 R. Ford Readings 24:
The door burst up, an' John flew oot, Lug-yerkit wi' a scourin' cloot.

8. Phrs.: (1) a puddin lug, used exclam. to express impatience or protest at some previous statement, rubbish! nonsense! (Bnff., Abd. 1961); (2) at one's lug, at the lug o', at one's side, close by, in close contact with (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Freq. in phr. at the lug o' the law, at the centre of affairs, in close touch with authority; (3) by the lug and the horn, by ear and horn, i.e. in handling or hauling an intractable sheep, by a double grip; hence, by main force (Kcb. 1961); ‡(4) frae lug to laggin, see 3. (3); (5) (out)ower the lugs, over head and ears, completely absorbed or immersed (ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1961); †(6) to be worth one's lugs, to be of any value, to be worth one's salt, gen. in neg. or quasi-neg. expressions (Sc. 1808 Jam.); †(7) to blaw in the lug, to flatter, wheedle, cajole (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 122). See also Blaw, v.1, III.; (8) to fash one's lug, to bother one's head. See Fash, v., 3.; (9) to get one's or gie one his head in his hands or lap and his lugs to play wi, to get or give one a severe rebuke or dressing-down (Ork., ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Gall. 1961). Cf. (10) and Heid, I. 1.  Phrs. (19); (10) to get one's lug in one's luif, to be taken severely to task (Ags. 1961); (11) to gie one's lug for a lavrock's egg, to wager anything; (12) to grow a heid an lugs, of a story or of gossip: to become embellished in the retelling (Abd. 1961); (13) to hae or tak the wrang soo by the lug, to have hit on the wrong person or thing, to have come to a wrong conclusion, be mistaken, have the wrong end of the stick (Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 82; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 196; I., n.Sc., Ags., Per., Wgt. 1961; Bnff., Ags., Ayr. 2000s); (14) to hing by the lug o, to keep a firm hold of, to cling to (one's purpose, principles, etc.) (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (15) to hing the lugs, to be crestfallen or dejected, to mope (I., n.Sc., Fif., Kcb., Rxb. 1961). Also in n.Eng. dial. See also Hing, I. 7. (10); (16) to lauch on the ither side o' one's lug, = Eng. “to laugh on the other side of one's face”, to change suddenly from pleasure to vexation (Sh., Ags., Wgt. 1961); (17) to lay down one's lugs to, to set about (a piece of work), to tackle in a purposeful manner; (18) to lay one's lugs, to bet one's ears, to wager (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 109; Sh., Ags. 1961); (19) to lay one's lugs about one, — amang or in, to eat or drink heartily (of or from) (Sc. 1825 Jam.; n.Sc., Ags., Lnl., Lnk. 1961); (20) to lay one's lugs in one's neck, to cock one's ear in order to hear better; (21) to lay (our, your, their) lugs thegither, to lay heads together, to concert action (Sh., Ags., Fif., Lth., Kcb. 1961); (22) to lay up one's lugs, to cock one's ears, to listen attentively (Ork. 1961). Also in n.Eng. dial.; (23) to learn by the lug, ? to learn by keeping one's ears open for information. The ref. in the quot. is not understood; (24) to look owre one's lug, to cast side glances; (25) to make lang lugs, to eavesdrop, try to overhear; (26)to pawn one's lugs, = (18); (27) to rub one's lugs, fig. = to scratch one's head, as a sign of perplexity (Ork. 1961); (28) to tak the lap o' (anither's) lug, to take one's word for it, be assured by, phs. orig. sc. “you can cut off my ear if this isn't true”. Cf. (18); (29) to wad or wager one's lug(s), = (18); (30) up to the lugs, = (5), over head and ears (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc.; (31) wi' one's lugs on one's neck, crestfallen, downcast. Cf. (15).(1) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb viii.:
“A puddin' lug, min,” exclaimed Johnny. “That's aye the gate wi' you chiels.”
(2) Sc. 1716 Laing MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm. 1925) II. 188:
The man was supporting him and just at his lug.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 379:
You are at the Lug of the Law.
Rnf. 1755 Session Papers, Pollock v. Pollock (4 Aug.) 32:
She was going to Edinburgh to be at the Lug of the Law.
Fif. 1863 St Andrews Gaz. (5 Sept.):
Explanations were again given and accepted, but so quietly that, except those at the “lug o' the law,” none else heard what they were.
Abd. 1880 W. Robbie Glendornie iii.:
At the vera lug o' the law, an' . . . oonder the vera noses o' the magistrats assembled i' their nain Toon-Ha'.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick viii.:
Ye're at the lug o' the law noo, an' nae dou't ye'll ha' heard a' aboot it or syne.
Cai. 1934 John o' Groat Jnl. (9 Nov.) 6:
Losh, we'll hear 'e fiddle an' 'e boxie as plain as if hid wis at yir loog.
(3) Sc. 1849 M. Oliphant M. Maitland xvii.:
I am maistly driven to gang and rug the auld man out, whiles — by the lug and the horn.
Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken xiv.:
Whan he finds some teough auld yow stucken faur up amang the scaurs . . . he juist pu's her doon by the lug an' the horn.
(5) Ayr. 1792 Burns I do confess i.:
I wad been o'er the lugs in love.
Abd. 1835 Bards of Bon-Accord (Walker 1887) 606:
I've been in love out o'er the lugs Like mony ither feels afore me.
Rxb. 1876 W. Brockie Leaderside Legends 25:
There lived a wife, at Fans Loan End, that neer gaed to the Kirk, But, Sunday an' Saturday, was owre the lugs i' wark.
Lnk. 1883 W. Thomson Leddy May 123:
Up in debt owre the lugs, he is happy for a'.
(6) Fif. 1885 D. Beveridge Culross II. 117:
The remembrance of so cruel an infliction seems to be preserved in the saying, “He's no worth his lugs” — that is, he's not worth the trouble of making him lose his ears.
(7) Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality v.:
I wish ye binna beginning to learn the way of blawing in a woman's lug wi' a' your whilly-wha's!
Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 9:
Whiles they would yok blawin' in my lug — but that I could never thole.
(9) m.Sc. 1920 O. Douglas Penny Plain viii.:
Well, that old wifie gave us our heads in our laps and our lugs to play wi'.
(10) Sc. 1744 Adam Smith in J. Thomson Life W. Cullen (1832) I. 481:
I shall get my lug in my lufe, as we say, for what I have written.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 153:
Ye winna need tae disparage the handiwork o' the Moray fairmers, else ye'll get yer lug in yer loof in a hurry.
(11) Ayr. 1819 Kilmarnock Mirror 174:
I'se gie onie body my “lug for a lavrock's egg”, gif he dinna stick it a' thegither yet.
(12) Abd. 1961 Huntly Express (10 Nov.) 2:
The tale, as so often happens, grew a “heid an' lugs” in the course of the day.
(13) Wgt. 1720 Session Rec. Whithorn MS. (24 Jan.):
One night lately as they were going by Margerat McKelvies door while it was dark Margerat came out to them and asked, Is that yow, Charles? and that one of them replyd, Yow have the wrong sow by the lug.
Sc. 1734 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1927) III. 93:
He has taken the wrong sow by the lugg.
Sc. 1757 Smollett Reprisal ii. iii.:
He'll no care to wrestle anither fa' with you in a hurry — he had the wrang sow by the lug.
Uls. 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xv.:
Weel, they hae the wrang soo by the lug this time, as sum o' them may fin' tae their coast!
Sc. 1988 Scotsman (5 Sep) 12:
A less independent character might well have accepted his definition of the study of her own country's history as specialisation. Fortunately in this case he had the wrang soo by the lug.
(14) Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 123:
He'll hing by the lug o' it.
(15) Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballad Book (1891) 18:
The Friar gaed up the street, Hanging his lugs like a new washen sheet.
(16) m.Lth. 1882 J. Strathesk Blinkbonny vii.:
I'll gar some o' ye laugh on the ither side o' yer lug.
(17) wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 310:
They themselves lay down their lugs to the work in dead earnest.
(18) Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 47:
Fy! said ae Cangler, What d'ye mean? I'll lay my Lugs on't, that he's Green.
Sc. 1789 A. Steele Shep. Wedding 14:
I'll lay my lug, that master now an' her Hae parted baith.
Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 100:
I'll lay my lugs! gin she had dane As mickle skaith, in Aberdeen.
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xxxv.:
I'll lay my lugs that's the true reason.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 44:
An' I'll lay me lug there's no' anither wife i' a' the brackan isles o' Orkney that could tell her teal sae weel as me ain guidwife.
Lnk. 1887 A. Wardrop Midcauther Fair 12:
I'll lay my lugs she's dancin' in the hall.
(19) Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 70:
He laid his Lugs in't like a Fish, And suckt till it was done.
Edb. 1795 H. MacNeill Scotland's Scaith 103–4:
Till three times in humming liquor Ilk lad deeply laid his lugs.
Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rhymes 118:
An' weel he lo'ed in dainty fare To lay his lugs.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxiv.:
Ilka chield layin' his lugs into his dish in such a way as to show that he is not ashamed to eat when he is hungry.
Sc. 1891 R. Ford Thistledown 84:
They therefore “laid their lugs amang” the eatables in a style which struck terror to the heart of their extra-frugal hostess.
Abd.1 1929:
They laid their lugs aboot them an' fat they cudna eat wi' fork an' knife, they suppit wi' spunes.
Fif. 1932 M. Bell Pickles & Ploys 107:
It is counted infra dig tae lay yer lugs intae a' thing on the table in a first-cless boarding establishment.
(20) Sc. 1839 Chambers's Jnl. (10 Aug.) 232:
Sae aw lays ma lugs in ma neck to listen, an' there is he [horse] ruggin' an' rivin' an' craunchin' away at nae allowance.
(21) Ags. 1888 Brechin Advertiser (21 Feb.) 3:
Aboot the back end o' the lest century the neeporin lairds laid their lugs thegethir.
(22) Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 172:
Next day being Sunday, I went to mass in the great church; and, when I went in, to see the folks all about the door, and in the body of the church, sitting on their knees here and there, laying up their lugs and mumbling, I declare I had the greatest difficulty to hold from laughing.
(23) Abd. 1890 Sc. N. & Q. III. 124:
Like the maidens o' Bayordie, ye learn by the lug.
(24) Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xiii.:
Supposin' that ye are keepin true to me and no lookin owre your lug at the new plewman.
(25)Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man (1972) xii.:
Let us draw slyly near to the twasome, and make lang lugs, to try if we can learn ony mair about that same beuk.
(26) Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 13:
An' gin the idiots come across the sea, I'll pawn my lugs, some bleedy breeks there'll be.
(27) Per. 1826 Edb. Ev. Courant (7 Oct.):
Potatoes have sold uncommonly high at roups; but in many instances there is a sad “rubbing of lugs” at the taking up.
(28) Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 39:
Tak' ye da lap o' my lug an' Arty o' Uphoos repents na his ill hertidness ta Willa Ridlin'.
(29) Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1813) 32:
I'll wad my lug he'll teach ye wit!
Ags. 1822 A. Balfour Farmers' Three Daughters III. 215:
I'll wad my lugs she'll never see his face again!
Mry. 1851 W. Hay Lintie 52:
I'll wager baith my lugs.
(31) Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 39:
Wi' their heads amang their feet an' their lugs on their necks.

II. v. 1. To provide with lugs, in various senses above, esp. 3. (3), gen. in ppl.adj. lug(g)it, -ed (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Hence dog-lug'd, dog's-eared, frayed, dowie-luggit (see Dowie, adj.), gee-luged (see Jee, IV.), hingin-luggit (see Hing, I. 9. (11)), lang-luggit, leather-luggit, red-lugget, etc.Sc. 1700 Edb. Gazette (27–30 May):
Stollen out of a house near the Netherbow . . . a fine Run Musline Rail and Apron, with a luged Edging about them.
Per. 1763 Ochtertyre Ho. Bk. (S.H.S.) 247:
1 two laged [sic] handy for caring draff.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 142:
The hens turns ay red lugget or they begin to lay.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Scotch Drink x.:
O rare! to see thee fizz an' freath I' th' lugget caup.
Kcd. 1796 J. Burness Thrummy Cap (1819) 205:
An' in its hand the ghaist had got A big four luggit bicker.
Mry. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 71:
He thumb'd the dog-lug'd leaves.
Ork. 1829 J. Malcolm Tales 83:
These delicate viands are washed down with copious libations of new ale, which is handed about in a large wooden vessel, having three handles, and ycleped a three-lugged cog.
Sc. 1834 H. Miller Scenes and Leg. (1874) 287:
Send for . . . your lugged water-stoup.
Ags. a.1856 Vagabond Songs (Ford 1904) 202:
Wi' fouth o' ale frae cask and pail, Or foamin' in a luggit bicker.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 79:
It's as roon as a mill-wheel, An luggit like a cat; Though ye sud clatter a' day, Ye'd never clatter that? A tub.
Abd. 1920 C. Murray Country Places 16:
An' ere the hoast gets siccar hauld Yon luggit pig o' fower year auld Sall first gang dry.
Ags. 1921 D. H. Edwards Fisher Folks 132:
A leather-lugget laddie's bonnet, or perhaps a hairy bairn's keppie.

Special Combs.: (1) luggit bonnet, a cap with ear-flaps (Bnff., Wgt. 1961); (2) luggit kep, id. (Sh. 1961); (3) luggit row, a breakfast-roll shaped with two wings or ears (Lth. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 191); (4) lugged spade, a spade with one edge turned up at right angles to the blade to make a vertical cut in a peat-bank. Cf. 3. (3).(1) Bch. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 9:
Though the daft win gars ma luggit-bonnet flap fae aff ma croon.
(2) Abd. 1961 Huntly Express (3 Feb.):
Both men were wearing “luggit” caps with the flaps tied securely under their chins.
Abd. 1981 Jack Webster A Grain of Truth (1988) 40:
...there they sat perched high on the seat of the gig with nothing to protect them from the wind or rain, although some did sport a luggit bonnet or a gravat in winter.
(3) Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce I. iii.:
The wheaten flour devices of penny-leddies, baps and luggit-rows.
(4) s.Per. 1794 J. Robertson Agric. s.Per. 99:
The spade for paring ought to be similar to that used in Scotland for casting turf, only a little more scooped in the iron and rounder in the fore part, with a perpendicular knife at one side of the iron, to cut the feal, as the Highland people have to the lugged spade, which they sometimes use for casting peats in tough masses.
s.Sc. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 X. 352:
His casdireach, an implement of husbandry like that known in some parts of the south of Scotland by the name of the lugged spade.

2. To cut off the ears as a punishment (Abd. 1825 Jam.).Mry. 1700 E. D. Dunbar Social Life (1866) 143:
To the Marschall twentie shillings Scots for scourging two, lugging two, and burning two thieves.

3. lug in, To eavesdrop (Gsw. 1980s; Cai., Bnff., Ags. 2000s).Sc. 2000 Aberdeen Evening Express (21 Jul) 18:
These warm-up sessions are great for the public to get close to their heroes and lug in on the chit-chat between the stars.
Sc. 2002 Scotsman (3 Oct) 16:
Cafe life is infinitely worse because they take up all the chairs, or infinitely better if you stand near enough to lug in on their conversations.

[O.Sc. lugg, the ear-flap of a cap, 1494, the ear, 1470, the handle of a vessel, lugyt, with ear-flaps, 1489, with handles, 1535. Also in n.Eng. dial. and of Scand. orig. in the gen. sense of something hanging loose which may be grasped. Cf. Sw. lugg, forelock, lugga, to tug at one's hair, the source of Eng. lug, to pull about, tug. The usage may at first have been colloq. but since the late 15th c. has gradually replaced ear in gen. Sc.]

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"Lug n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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