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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).

RAAGA, n. Also ra(a)ga; raaca (Sh. 1880 Jam.); ragha; raggie-. [′rɑ:gə] Wreckage, driftwood (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 182, 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1967); transf. anything useless or spoilt, rubbish, a poor broken-down person or animal (Jak.). Combs. ra(a)gabanes, -bens, the disintegrated remains of a dead animal, a carcase (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1967); raggie-strae, see 1964 quot.; raaga-tree, a tree or branch washed up as driftwood (Id.).Sh. 1733 T. Gifford Hist. Descr. 52:
There is a sort of wreck called by the country people ragha, that is pieces of firwood which has never been in any use, and is thought to drive from the north parts of Norway and America . . . This sort of wreck the inhabitants have still thought the unquestionable property of the finder thereof, and they use it for repairing their houses.
Sh. 1771 Old-Lore Misc. III. ii. 101:
All lands that pay scatt draw their proportional shares of . . . raga or driven wood.
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 114, 244:
The various articles of furniture about a fisherman's house in the olden days were made from raaga trees. . . . Da röt o' a ragatree.
Sh. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 312:
Some poor wastrel is likened to a “raaga-tree,” wreck, or driftwood.
Sh. 1964 Sh. Folk Book IV. 3:
The “windlin-strae” or “raggie-strae” was now spread over the “gloy”; windlin-strae was the crushed and tangled straw which, during the process of selection, had been separated from the straight “tekkin-strae,” and twisted into small bundles called “windlins.”

[Dan. vrag, Norw. rak, wreck, driftwood, ad. L.Ger. wrack, id., cogn. with O.N. rek, wreck.]

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"Raaga n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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