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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

NAG, v.2, n.2

I. v. 1. To strike smartly, to beat (Lnk. 1825 Jam.). Vbl.n. naggin, the act of striking the knuckles with a marble as a punishment in the game of nags (Abd., Cld. 1880 Jam.). See n., 1. (2).

2. To nick, notch, or hack with a sharp instrument, to snap, snatch, bite, mark with the teeth (w. and s.Sc. 1887 Jam., nag, neg). Also in Eng. dial.

II. n. 1. (1) A stroke of the marble, or the marble itself, in the game of nags. Also dim. aphetic form aggie; (2) in pl., a game played with marbles, in which the loser is struck a certain number of times on the knuckles by the marbles of the other players (Abd., Cld. 1825 Jam.); (3) a boys' game, in which “a ball was thrown against the side of a house, and a boy's name called; if the boy named failed to catch it on the first bounce, he had to stand facing the wall and be pelted by the others ” (Arg.2 1931).Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Flights 256:
We gladly relinquish'd the nags or the cuffets.
Rnf. 1877 J. M. Neilson Poems 93:
Johnnie aften brags Hoo he sends his neebors up For their nippy “nags”.
Ags. 1951 C. Sellars Open the Westport 46:
I traded all but two aggies wi' Jamie Laggan for this knife.

2. A nick, notch, indentation, a bite. snap (w. and s.Sc. 1887 Jam.).

[Phs. a voiced form of Knack, v., n., to strike sharply, a sharp blow.]

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"Nag v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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