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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FLAGARIE, n., v. Also flaga(i)ry, fle(e)garie, fleegary, fligary, flugarie, -y, and extended forms flegmageerie (Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 46), fligmagearie (w.Sc. 1825 Jam.), fligmaga(i)rie, flumageerie. [flə′ge:re]

I. n. 1. An ornament, a gewgaw, esp. something excessively garish, as in one's dress (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 207, flugarie; Dmf. 1825 Jam., flegarie).Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems 118:
Rouze up thy Reason, my beautifu' Annie, And dinna prefer ye'r Fleegaries to me.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 139:
Shame fa' them an' their fligmagaries baith, for I get nae good o' the preaching looking at them.
Edb. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 118:
Just what I fancy'd them ever to be, Tho' buskit in a' the fligaries we see.
Fif. 1823 W. Tennant Card. Beaton 26:
As braw a hizzie, wi' her fardingales and her fleegaries, as ony Principal's dochter i' the three colleges.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Verses 46:
[Tables] wi' fine carved flagairies an' French polished heid.

2. A whim, a silly fuss, a piece of frivolity (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also used attrib. = whimsical, giddy. Phr.: to be in a flagarie, to be madly in love (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 207).Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie lxx.:
No, no, my leddy — nae sic flagaries wi' me.
Dmf. 1826 A. Cunningham Paul Jones I. ii.:
I never saw a quean that flang in that flagarie gate.
Sc. 1828 Hogg Trials of Temper (1874) 210:
So none of your bantering and flagaries; for have him you must, and have him you shall.
Abd. 1909 R. J. Maclennan Yon Toon 111:
Fit wye are they no' tryin' a cantata instead o' this operatic flumageery?
Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chron. (8 Nov.):
I never forgot me wark, whatever flagaries micht be gaun at nicht time.
Abd. 1932 R. L. Cassie Sc. Sangs 35:
Some fligmagairie gars her [the muse] thraw, She winna steer.

3. An over-dressed person, one who is fond of ornamentation (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 207, flagarie); one given to fuss or whims, a frivolous person.Slk. 1818 Hogg Wool-gatherer (1874) 74:
I'm nane o' your molloping, precise flegaries, that want to be miss'd, an beekit, an' bowed to.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Men of the Moss-Hags xxxii.:
Tam Lindsay gaed aff wi' his fleein' flagarie o' a muckle-tochered Crawford lass.

II. v. To fuss, to act frivolously. Vbl.n. flagarying; ppl.adj. fligarian, fleegarying, fussy about dress (Upp. Cld., Dmf. 1825 Jam.).Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 38:
Fligarian wi' their flants on solemn days, As boost religion kyth in courtly claise.
Dmf. 1821 H. Duncan Young S. Country Weaver 45:
What did I come hame for? Was it to stan' and look at your flagarying there?

[A variant of Feegarie, Eng. vagary, phs. with influence from Flee, v.1, Fling.]

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"Flagarie n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2022 <>



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