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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).

NAG, n.3 Also niag (Uls.). A hard ball used in Shintie and similar games (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., 1953 Traynor, n(i)ag).Uls. 1920 J. Logan Ulster in X-rays 87:
Of old-time sports, there were many. One of the most popular, for boys at any rate, was “shinney ” . . . The ball was a piece of hardened wood called the “nag”.
Sc. 1932 J. N. Macdonald Shinty 57–9:
Sometimes a rounded piece of wood, a ball of twisted hair, a cork, . . . carefully fashioned into a globular shape (and later termed a “nag, not, cad ”) was substituted.

[A variant of Knag, n.1, 1.]

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"Nag n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Aug 2022 <>



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