Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ONGAE, n., v. Also ongo. Ppl.adj., vbl.n. -gain, -ga(e)n, -g(y)aun. See Gae, v., A. and Ongang below. [′onge]

I. n. 1. The act of going on, movement, progress. Rare and later in Eng. Sc. 1835  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 220:
They are as lovely as the earthly ongoings o' time can ever be.
Abd. 1923  H. Beaton Benachie 121:
We're nae gyaun tae ca wirsel's deen the first ongo.

2. A stir, fuss, pother, to-do, uproar (Sh., ne. and s.Sc. 1964). Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
They war a roch an' richt set gey puckles o' them, an a sad ongae they made o' 't.

II. v. As in Eng.: to go on, proceed, conduct oneself. Ppl.adj. ongoing, progressing without intermission, proceeding (Sc. 1882 J. Ogilvie Imp. Dict. s.v.). More freq. in vbl.n., gen. in pl.: = 2. above, behaviour, esp. of an unseemly or obstreperous kind, loose or rowdy conduct, goings-on (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie xviii.; Sc. 1897 Stevenson W. of Hermiston vi.; Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 222). Gen.Sc. Ags. 1710  W. M. Inglis Angus Parish (1904) 57:
Given in by Grizelle Watson, by appointment of the Presbytery, for her scandalous ongoing with Ogilvie of Peill, ¥10 Scots.
Sc. 1820  A. Sutherland St. Kathleen III. v.:
Davie, ye scamp, that's some o' your ongaens.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb vii.:
Lat yer Presbytery be fat they like the Assembly'll never thole sic ongaens.
Uls. 1897  A. M'Ilroy When Lint was in the Bell ii.:
Ye'r ongoins are sometimes like tae drive me mad.
Gsw. 1898  D. Willox Poems 193:
He micht hae waited a wee while langer, especially as he made sic an ongaun aboot his first ane.
Kcd. 1900  W. MacGillivray Glengoyne I. iv.:
The inside ongains o' the squeel.
Sh. 1915  Old-Lore Misc. VIII. i. 38:
Ise wirran, i thee time thu'll hae hard a few wheer yarns o da ongans o da Hacroos at bed i Irelan' i da ald days.
Dmf. 1917  J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne (1929) 56:
Nailin' auld Mary Frizzel's door up, blawin' shavin'-reek in an' cryin' “Fire!” an' sic-like daft ongauns.
Ags. 1934  J. Angus Sheltering Pine I. iv. 2:
Even to this day there's queer ongaein's there.

[On-, pref.2, + Gae, v. O.Sc. ongoing, = I. 1., 1637.]

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"Ongae n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Apr 2019 <>



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