Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PEENGE, v., n. Also peinge (Sc. 1818 Sawers), pinge. [pi:ndʒ]

I. v. 1. To whine, complain, whimper; to speak in a querulous, whining tone (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai), freq. in reference to poverty, real or pretended (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Used tr. in phr. to peenge poverty (Fif. 1957). Also in n.Eng. dial. Hence peengie, peevish, fractious, querulous, freq. of a child (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; ne., em., s.Sc. 1965); ppl.adj. peeng(e)in, id. (Sc. 1818 Sawers); mean, grudging. Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 377:
The unhappy ne'er shall peenge to me in vain.
Sc. 1814 C. I. Johnstone Saxon and Gael I. ix.:
I ne'er like to be nippit or pinging, gie me routhrie o' a' thing.
Sc. 1832 Tait's Mag. (July) 424:
That cochlin, clocherin, daized, doited, donnerit, do-nae-gude, feckless, fuzionless, pechling, pingin, plouterin, potherin. asthmatical rotten body, Borrowstoun.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 227:
The puir complain for want o' bread, . . . An' pingin' misers just thro' greed, The hale year roon'.
Ags. 1887 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends xv.:
Pingin' an' grumblin' because they haena been born wi' a siller spune in their mooths.
Fif. 1897 S. Tytler Witch-Wife iv.:
It had been “dowie” to have a “pingin, grainin” wife who bore him bairns only to have them “straiket”.
Lth. 1921 A. Dodds Antrin Sangs 53:
The mavis is nae speckled dove, The lark nae peengin' plover.
Abd. 1942 Scots Mag. (July) 275:
[He] ping't an' girn't fae morn to nicht.

2. To droop, pine, fret, mope, to look cold and miserable (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 196, Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 34, Kcd., Ags. 1965, pinge). Ppl.adjs. peeng(e)in', peenged (Dmf. 1920), ailing, pinched and cold-looking, and derivs. (1) peengie, -jie, adj., sickly-looking, puny, not in good health (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 152; Dmf. 1920; ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1965); (2) pinger, n., a puny weakling, a frail thin-blooded person. Sc. 1724 Ramsay Ever Green I. 51:
A Bytand Ballat on warlo Wives, That gar thair Men live pinging Lives.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 194:
Few need peenge aneath misfortune's glowr Wad fock do a' the guid that's i' their power.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxix.:
That useless peenging thing o' a lassie there at Ellangowan.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 34:
There mony a' day I ping't wi' hungry guts.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 398:
It . . . pinging brutes without did lash, While meikle trees fell wi' a crash.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) xii.:
Unco cauldrife wark that o' standing peenging about windows.
Sc. 1831 S. E. Ferrier Destiny III. xii.:
What poor, pinging-like things they are.
Sc. 1852 Royal Caled. Curling Club Annual 218:
When pingin' bodies keep the house, And hurkle ower the fire.
Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods (1907) 147:
Saw ye ne'er some pingein' bairn As weak as a pitaty-par'n.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) ix.:
Sandy gaed peengin' aboot for twa or three weeks efter.
Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 118:
He's nane o' your peengin kin', that's fear't for gettin' a wat skin.
Kcb. 1912 W. McGuffog Verses II. 75:
Ye pingers owre the blazin' coals.
Abd. 1932 R. L. Cassie Sangs 25:
We pauchle on, we peenge an' pine For want o' wordies wee.

II. n. A feeble sickly-looking person, a weakling (Slk. 1965); a fretful child (Fif. 1965). Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 9:
The caller air ud seek roses back ti the chaufts o the palliest peenge.

[Onomat., with influence from Whinge, Peek, etc.]

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"Peenge v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Aug 2020 <>



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