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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).

SNAG, v., n.1 Also snja(a)g, sniaag (Sh. 1904 E.D.D.): snaig. [snɑg: Sh. snjɑg; †sneg]

I. v. tr. and absol. To snarl (at) (Kcd. 1970, of a dog), to banter, to nag, grumble, bait, taunt (Fif. 1808 Jam.; Ags. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Also in Eng. dial. Phr. to snag an' brag, id.Fif. 1806 A. Douglas Poems 121:
Sic snaggin' and braggin', An' randy-beggar-jaw.
Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling II. iii.:
To be jamphed an' snaggit by the wabster smatchets of Shuttledale.
Fif. 1862 St Andrews Gazette (10 Oct.):
Even after she was condemned he [the judge] snaggit her, and used her like a dog, and ca'd her a liar.
Ags. 1904 Arbroath Guide (25 June) 3:
[I] hae had to thole to be snaggit an' braggit aboot that barrow upsettin'.

II. n. 1. (1) A snap, snarl, taunt, jibe (Cld. 1880 Jam.). Deriv. snaggy, sarcastic, snappish (Fif. 1808 Jam.; Cld. 1880 Jam.). also adv. Also in Eng. dial.Fif. 1806 A. Douglas Poems 130:
Quo' Maggy fell snaggy, “Ye lie, you loun, an' joke.”

(2) A fretful person, a constant grumbler, a “nark” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).Fif. 1825 Poem in Jam., s.v. Snaig:
In came a snaig she lo'ed na weil For his disloyal clavers, Wha aft wad scaff at priest and de'il, An' ca't a' auld wives' havers.

2. A small morsel, a tit-bit, a dainty, esp. of confectionery, a sweet (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 172; Sh. 1904 E.D.D.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1970). Deriv. snaggery, trashy food (n.Sc. 1904 E.D.D.).Abd. 1900 Wkly. Free Press (14 April):
The bairns will eat mair snaggery an' sweet trash.
Mry. 1919 Northern Scot (17 May):
Aye chawin snag fin ye're nae moochin.

3. In pl.: shares, equal parts; fig., fair play (Cld. 1880 Jam.). Phr. to run snags, to share (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 172). Cf. Eng. to go snacks.

[Variant of Snack, n.1, v.1]

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"Snag v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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