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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

MOLLIGRANT, n., v. Also moli-, mollie-, molly-; mouli-; mully-, mulli-; mali-, mala-; -grunt; -grump(h). Cf. Molligrups.

I. n. Sometimes in pl. on analogy with Molligrups, q.v.: a complaint, a lamentation (Ags. 1808 Jam.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 255; Ork., em.Sc. 1963); a state of peevish dissatisfaction, a fit of spleen (Rxb. 1825 Jam., maligrumph, ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Rxb. 1811 A. Scott Poems 19:
Waes me, the mulligrumphs she's ta-en.
Sc. 1825 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) IX. 261:
Your molligrunts so hampered me as to cost us at least one novel.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 49:
Tibbie's Moligrant; Or, Satire a-la-mode.
Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 4:
But I 'sure ye, Tam Nettles was in a bonny mollygrant that nicht.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxv.:
I'm the sport o' the mullygrumphs, sorrow an' care.
Abd. 1895 G. Williams Scarbraes 6:
It doesna set ye to be ga'in aboot . . . makin' a molligrant aboot the weather an' the craps.
Ork. 1915 Old-Lore Misc. VIII. i. 43:
Hid waasna ony eus for da ald man makan ony molligrant aboot id.
Edb. 1938 Fred Urquhart Time Will Knit (1988) 85:
"There's no use talking about it till they hear from the Sanitary," Uncle Jim said. "Time enough then to make a molligrant about it. ..."
Edb. 1949 F. Urquhart The Ferret v. xiii.:
Seeing you're making such a mollygrant I'll tell you here and now.

II. v. To complain, to grumble, to lament (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 258; Abd., em.Sc., Lnk. 1963). Vbl.n. molligranting, -gruntin, a peevish, whining lamentation, a voluble complaint.Fif. 1886 G. Bruce Poems 203:
Yet there was no molligranting — nor fear of Death.
Sc. 1913 H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ iii. xix.:
Quat yer mollie-gruntin; skance My sufferin an' that o' My saunts.
Abd.15 1930:
Fat 're ye haudin a' the malagruntin' aboot, ye discontented vratch?
Gsw. 1947 H. W. Pryde 1st Bk. of the McFlannels vii.:
He's going to be a teacher, and none of his molliegruntin — or yours either — 'll make me change it.

[A conflation of Eng. mulligrubs and grant, Grumph, to grunt. See Molligrups,n.]

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"Molligrant n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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