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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TRAG, n. Also tragg (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); track, traak; erron. ¶frag. [trɑg; ne.Sc. + trɑk]

1. Anything of poor quality or little value or use, rubbish, trash (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 217, 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh., Abd. 1972); a jumble of odds and ends (I.Sc., Mry. 1921 T.S.D.C.); “something unpleasant to handle” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 134:
Geneva trag, an' burnin' brannie.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xliii.:
Fat like trag she's sent here owre an' owre again.

2. A poorly or untidily dressed person, a “sight”, “guy” (Mry. 1921 T.S.D.C., traak; ne.Sc. 1972, track).Abd. 1901 Weekly Free Press (28 Sept.):
A perfect track — wi' neither collar nor clean sark on.
Bnff. 1907 Bnff. Jnl. (13 Oct. 1953):
She micht men' 'er claes, than, an' nae gyang sic a track, puir thing.
Abd. 1960:
Ye never saw sic a track. That's an awfu track tae be gaun aboot.
Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 222:
I hope you won't mind, Miss Allardyce, me being such a track, like, but I just came oot of the coo byre.

3. A person of mean or low character (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 195). Also used coll. = riff-raff (Bnff., Abd. 1972), and in comb. ticht-trag (Id.).Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 48:
Compar'd to you, what's peevish trag?
Bnff. 1866 Banffshire Jnl. (27 March):
Gin wi' sic frag [sic] I e'er forgather, They'll learn my fung.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 80:
But Gweed forbid 'at ye be pranned By German trag in foreign land!

[Of doubtful orig., poss. altered form of trog, Troke.]

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"Trag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Nov 2023 <>



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