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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

RAGGLE, v.1, n.1 Also ragle; ¶rachle.

I. v. In masonry: to cut a groove in a stone or in stone-coursing to receive another stone, lead flashing or the like, as in the steps of a stair, the edge of a roof, a gutter, etc. (Sc. 1808 Jam., 1952 Builder (20 June) 943); later used in carpentry of cutting sim. grooves in wood. Gen.Sc. Vbl.n. ragglin(g)(s), raglins, raglen, the groove so cut, specif. the space under the coping-stones of a gable into which the edges of the slates are inserted (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw.). Gen.Sc.; the rafter of a roof which is fitted below the ragglin of the gable. Comb. raglen tak, the thatch which covers this space (Angus). See Thack.Edb. 1704 Burgh Rec. Edb. (1967) 74:
The whole ragline of the Counsell neideth poynting with pann cratch.
Gsw. 1720 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 99:
For raglin the walls in the kirk for letting in the glass into the windows.
Slg. 1740 J. Love Antiq. Notes (1910) II. 253:
To James Easton 5 days cutting raglins for the spouts . . 5s. 6d.
Gsw. 1754 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1911) 399:
For masons and service mens day wages at pointing and polishing the new church in the inside, rachling and ducking to the wrights.
Bnff. 1804 Session Papers, Petition J. Duff (24 May 1805) App. 8:
The whole of the roof-stones and ragling of gables require to be pointed.
Fif. 1807 J. Grierson St. Andrews (1838) 90:
The chapel has had, at different times, three several roofs, of different heights, as appears from the marks and raggling still observable on the side of the steeple to which it joins.
Sc. 1833 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Arch. § 983, 1066:
Common rafters 3 inches by 2 inches and a half; ragglings, 3 inches and a half by 2 inches . . . All the treads and risers to be raggled into strings.
Sc. 1861 Stephens & Burn Farm Buildings 544:
A Scotch term for the groove made in the face of a wall to admit the side or top slates of a lean-to roof, for the sake of being water-tight.
Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 256:
Wi' dis clod i' my haand I creeps up ower da ragglin'.
Per. 1898 C. Spence Poems 172:
In loophole and raggling, and bunker and breach.

2. Mining: to cut into the coal-face (Fif., m.Lth. 1967). Vbl.n. raggling, a groove cut in the side of a mine and protected with boarding to act as a ventilation channel (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 53).

II. n. The groove cut in stone or wood to receive another stone, board, etc. (Sc. 1871 Villa and Cottage Architecture Gl., 1952 Builder (20 June) 943). Gen.Sc. See I. 1.; a joiner's tool for doing this, a router plane (Kcb. 1967).Abd. 1835 Hatton Estate MSS.:
Repairing skue-tabling and raggles . 10s 6d.
Fif. 1881 D. H. Fleming Guide St. Andrews 55:
The raggle of the roof and the ragged marks of the wall are still seen on the west front of the tower.
Sc. 1895 E. M. Chalmers St. Ninian's Candida Casa 9:
The raggle cut in the stone for the roof.
Edb. 1956 Scotsman (22 Sept.) 9:
Uttering deep thoughts about raggles and sarking, flashing and skews and haffit verges.

[O.Sc. raggalyne, a groove cut in stone, 1500. Orig. obscure. but cf. Rag, n.1, 3. and Raggle, v.2]

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"Raggle v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2023 <>



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