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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

STRAG, n.2 Also stragg. [strɑg]

I. n. 1. A thin-growing, straggly crop, as of corn (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 439; Lnk. 1971); also fig. of thin wispy hair (Gall. a.1813 A. Murray Hist. Eur. Langs. (1823) I. 276).Kcb.4 1900:
A bald man with only a fringe of hair left is said to “hae but a stragg o' hair.”

2. A vagabond, a roaming person (Dmb., Lnk. 1971); a loose woman (Dmf. 1971). Also in Eng. dial.Kcb. 1900 Crockett Stickit Minister's Wooing 326:
All the strags and restless ne'er-do-weels.

3. A stray pigeon (m. and s.Sc. 1971). Also in n.Eng. dial.Fif. 1932 M. Bell Pickles & Ploys 44:
Auld Purdie's doos are a' strags tae!

4. A casual labourer, specif. at Leith docks (Fif., Lth. 1971).

5. An odd job, an errand (Edb. 1971).Edb. 1949:
To gae one's strags — to do one's shopping.

II. v. To stray, straggle, in agent n. stragger, a straggler (Slk. 1825 Jam.).

[Reduced form of Eng. straggle, or in I. 25., straggler.]

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"Strag n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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