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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BAGGIE, Baggy, n.2

1. n. “A species of large minnow apparently from the rotundity of its shape” (Jam.5).Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 68:
I knew for sure that spring had come only when grandfather came in after the last haul of winter herring and took me down to the shallow area called Buckland to look for troonts. These were sticklebacks, which swam into Buckland on a big tide in the month of March. The females grandfather called 'baggies', showing me their distended bellies full of eggs about to spawn. Always they died during the night, and if we came down early in the morning we found them lying lifeless for lack of oxygen in the water, their big upturned bellies like floating graveyards under the sky. But the males, called 'doctors', with their red fronts, usually survived, so we took them home to be kept in jars of fresh water in the house, often for many months, and always outliving my tadpoles.
Rnf.3 1914:
“Baggies” was the word used for “minnows” in Glasgow.
Ayr.1 1910; Ayr.4 1928:
There were several kinds of small fish in the Irvine. One kind was called “baggies.”
Rxb. c.1840 A. Michie in Hawick Arch. Socy. (1908) 76:
A favourite pastime with many was “gumping” for “baggies.”
Dmf. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
baggie a minnow

2. Comb.: baggie-mennen(t), baggy-mennon, baggie minnie, baggie minnow,  the same. Also fig.Sc. 1830 Wilson Noctes Amb. III. 48:
You beat the Major! You micht at baggy mennons, but he could gie you a stane-wecht at trouts or fish.
Sc. 1994 Herald 8 Apr 7:
He added: "There wasn't as much as a baggie minnow found on Mr McKnight."
Sheriff Irvine Smith said that in his 34 years' experience at Stirling Sheriff Court, defenders in poaching cases always complained about the Endrick.
Sc. 1995 Herald 22 Jun 11:
There are millions throughout the world who snigger into their cups, or guffaw outrageously, when an English team is torn apart, not to say blootered, by some baggie minnie of a team.
Sc. 1997 Scotsman 2 Aug 17:
... then the "any other pet" category, a tough choice among a budgie, a rainbow goldfish, a polecat and a jar of baggie minnows, ...
Sc. 2003 Scotland on Sunday 5 Jan 14:
Who can forget his description of lanky Doddie Weir as a "mad giraffe" or the player who apparently wriggled his way out of trouble like a "baggie minnow in a Borders burn"? Couthiness seldom got more engaging.
Gsw. 1972 Molly Weir Best Foot Forward (1974) 77:
We fished for baggies, our name for baggie-minnows, and transferred them to our glass jam-jars, and felt drunk with success as we watched our catch swimming round and round in their glass-walled prison.
Gsw. 1987 Peter Mason C'mon Geeze Yer Patter! 85:
If ye've got a jeely jaur, ye c'n come 'n catch baggy minnies. If you have a jam jar, you can come and catch minnows.
Gsw. 1995 Alan Spence Stone Garden (1997) 208:
Tadpoles in a jamjar. Baggieminnies. They never survived.
Ayr.2 1932:
In Ayrshire (Irvine Valley) the compound baggie-minnen is always used.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 46:
Baggie-mennen, -mennent, same [i.e. a species of minnow with large abdomen].

[See Baggie, n.1, and Mennon.]

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"Baggie n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2022 <>



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