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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GILRAVAGE, GAL-, v., n. Also gill-, -ravish, -ra(i)vi(t)ch, -revige, galravidge, -revitch, -raivage, etc., gul-, ¶cul(l)-, ¶kill-, and forms without l: garravadge, -ravitch; -rivish (Lnk. 1950), girrebbage, ¶goravich, gravitch (Ayr. 1825 Jam.). [gə(l)′rɑv-, -′rev-, etc.]

I. v., intr. Gen. found as vbl.n. or ppl.adj.

1. To eat and drink intemperately, to guzzle, to feast riotously, to indulge in high living (Fif. 1954); to act extravagantly in any way (Sh.10 1954, gulravage). Fig. to gloat, to feast one's mind.Edb. 1745 Woodhouselee MS. 71:
October 16, ther were 60 of the crew came owt . . . and gulravished in the public hows.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ayrshire Legatees vi.:
Poor Mrs Pringle would have been far better looking after her cows and her butter . . . than with all this garavitching and grandeur.
Slk. 1899 C. M. Thomson Drummeldale 78:
Guis-eatin's an' ither gilravagin, at the new 'ear time.
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables xxxi.:
She seemed to gulrevitch owre the parteeklars of what he said.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's 86:
Better wi' a nirl o' an auld bannock, Whaur there's peace an' quaitness, Than a hale hoosefu' o' galraivagin, Whaur there's ill-wull.

2. To romp, to indulge in noisy merry-making, to create a noisy disturbance (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Lth., Rxb. 1954). Also in n.Eng. dial.Peb. 1793 R. Brown Carlop Green (1817) 133:
Tae dance after the Play, And swill scuds, garravadge, and sing, Till daffan' breeds a fray.
wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 276:
We could hear distinctly the sounds of music, dancing, and gilravitching of all kinds.
Ags. 1888 Mod. Sc. Poets XI. 171:
Sic gilravagin' an' din, Rinnin' oot an' rinnin' in.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Stickit Minister 67:
The hervesters comin' in gilravagin' wi' hunger.
Fif. 1912 Rymour Club Misc. II. 155:
The grand galravaging winds of the world are joining the sea in singing the Sangshaw of the Spheres.
Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 65:
He was a gallows falla was “Crafts”, an' aye made ithers galravitch wi' 'm.
s.Sc. 1933 Border Mag. (April) 60:
Yer a bachelor, Elliot, an' I never heard that galravagin wi' hussies was a failin' o' yours.

3. To rove about as when bent on plunder or destruction (Rxb. 1825 Jam., ne.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
Ye had better stick to your auld trade o' theft-boot, black-mail, spreaghs, and gill-ravaging — better stealing nowte than ruining nations.
Lth. 1885 “J. Strathesk” Blinkbonny viii.:
She galravidges hither and yont for them.
wm.Sc. 1989 Anna Blair The Goose Girl of Eriska 42:
... Becky ... ran off with a gangrel band of gipsy-tinks who were considered by the players to be a Scots mile wilder and less sober than they were themselves. ... they could only shake their heads and conclude that there must be a fair heedless streak in her somewhere to bring her, first from a good home to their company, and then off a second time with even more galravaitching folk.

Deriv. gillravager, -ravicher, n., a wild, lawless or blustering fellow.Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
Some gill-ravager that ye hae listed, I dare say. He looks as if he had a bauld heart to the highway, and a lang craig for the gibbet.
Ayr. 1821 Scots Mag. (April) 351:
But I maun tak' a barlie wi' thae gillravichers.
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxx.:
Our gracious master is auld, and was nae great gillravager amang the queans even in his youth.
Uls. 1987 Sam Hanna Bell Across the Narrow Sea 25:
'Take tent o' this, ye gillravager. Foot the road ye came and ne'er look back. Away wi' ye, or as God's my judge, I'll sned the head from your shoulders!'

4. “To be unsteady; to act hastily and without consideration” (Rxb. 1825 Jam., ne.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

5. tr. To gobble up, devour. Also fig. Hence n. galravishment, eating up, devouring. m.Sc. 1827 R. Chambers Picture Scot. I. 367:
The country below this point is, in fact, mill-ridden — fairly subjugated, tamed, tormented, touzled, and gulraivished by the Demon of Machinery.
m.Lth. 1912 C. P. Slater Marget Pow (1925) 60:
"Finally," was a fearsome pictur of the total galravishment of the sinner.
Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 58:
There was a celebrated lion died here a while ago . . . If he was still livin' in the place . . . I ken fine he would have galravished me.

II. n. †1. A drinking bout, riotous feasting.Gsw. c.1780 J. Strang Gsw. Clubs (1856) 125:
Scottish “Galraviches,” as these drinking bouts were called, are well known to all acquainted with the “annals of the bottle.”

2. Noisy merry-making, horseplay, a romp; commotion, uproar (Sc. 1825 Jam., girrebbage; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Uls. 1931 North Whig (11 Dec.) 13, gillrevige; ‡Bwk.3, Dmf., Rxb.4, Uls.4 1954).Ayr. 1785 Burns To Rev. J. McMath i.:
While at the stook the shearers cow'r To shun the bitter blaudin show'r, Or, in gulravage rinnin, scowr.
Sc. 1818 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 155:
Muckle din an' loud gilraivitch was amang them, gaffawan an' lauchan.
Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick II. xvii.:
Ye're haudin' up your vile dinnous goravich i' the wuds here, it the vera craws canna get sleepin'.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail c.:
Watty's [wedding] was a walloping galravitch o' idiocety.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xiv.:
Ye maun ken that this is the guizin' time o' year . . . Me an' my freend there juist cam' for a while's innocent gilravage.
Fif. 1875 A. Burgess Bk. of Nettercaps 78:
It is very lamentable, and very woefu', for douce-mindit fo'k, like you an' me, Tibby, to hear and see the sinfu' belli-hooins and galravish that meet you everywhere direct i' the teeth.

3. A state of confusion or disturbance, “as that of a sow, etc. destroying a garden, by rooting up the plants” (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk.3 1954).Bwk. 1876 W. Brockie Confessional 185:
A' thing's ranshacklt frae head to fit, Ye canna get room to stand or sit, There's sic a gulravage as never was kennd.

4. A noisy, disorderly crowd, a mob (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 298, cullravage, kill-; Kcb.4 1900; n.Ant. 1924 North. Whig (14 Jan.), gul-; Gall. 1954).Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 400:
His glory was to rive and kill . . . O! but he joined wi' right gude will, A wild culravage.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Cleg Kelly xi.:
Bring nae wild gilravage o' loons here, or oot ye gang.

5. An orgy, an indulging in something to the point of satiety, in quot. of looking at an exhibition. Sc. 1958 Farming News (22 Feb.):
I had a really good "garavitch" round the exhibition one morning early while it was still quiet.

[Origin doubtful: ? Gil- gal-, intensive pref. + ravage, ravish.]

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"Gilravage v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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