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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).

MAGIRKIE, n. Also magirky, magurkie; majirky; megirkie; megirtie and shortened form majirk. [mə′dʒɪrki]

1. A head-dress of woollen material which also protects the throat, a kind of helmet (Ags. 1808 Jam.).Abd. c.1770 Garland of Bonaccord (1886) 27:
They row their legs wi' straen rapes, Magirkies on their heids for caps; They're busked up like twa bees' scapes.
Abd. 1847 Gill Binklets 25:
She espied an old brown majirkie hanging upon a nail upon the bed.
Abd. 1919 T.S.D.C.:
Magurkie. A head dress made of straw, worn by persons engaged in the moss. It is identical with the close-fitting worsted mutch of a bye-gone age.
Arg. 1932 Oban Times (25 June):
The “Magirky”, I may mention, is an old name for the Highland cap.

2. A kind of scarf.Ayr. 1825 Jam.:
A particular kind of cravat. It differs from an Ourlay. For instead of being fastened with a loop in the same form, it is held by two clasps, which would make one unacquainted with it suppose that it was part of an under-vest.

3. Fig. An odd, unwieldy object.Ags. 1879 G. W. Donald Poems 6:
Afore I'd trust sic queer majirk I'd branks a thrawart cuddie, . . . Ere through the world I'd tak the gait Galantin' on a fender.

[Orig. uncertain. O.Sc. has magirky, 1., 1650, described as being like the Spanish montero cap, worn gen. by Spanish peasants, and it is just possible that magirkie is a corruption of Majorca, where the cap may also have been worn, being a reduced form of Majorca cap. But there is no evidence to prove this.]

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"Magirkie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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