Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MIDGE, n. Also Sc. forms: mig (Sc. 1712 “Tincklarian” Fearful Bk. 10); dims. midgie, -y (Sh. 1900 Shetland News (23 June)). Gen.Sc.; midgeck (Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 57), midjick (Abd. 1956 People's Jnl. (21 July), Abd. 1962); mudg(e)i(c)k, mud(s)ji(c)k, mudgo (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 18; Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Tales 243; I.Sc. 1962). Sc. usages: a small, insignificant person or animal (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff 114, Sh., Ags., Per. 1962). Also in n.Eng. dial. Sc. 1757  Smollett The Reprisal ii. i.:
Deel stap out your een! I'm nae sic midge but ye might a seen me in your porridge.
Ayr. 1795  Burns Election Ball. No. 4. x.:
Here's the worth and wisdom Collieston can boast: By a thievish midge They had been nearly lost.

Combs. and phr.: (1) midge grass, meadow soft-grass, Holcus lanatus (Bwk. 1853 G. Johnston Botany E. Borders 212); (2) midge-merchant, a petty trader or small shop-keeper (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); (3) midge's knee-buckle, a very small article (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.).

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"Midge n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Aug 2019 <>



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