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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HARGLE-BARGLE, v. To dispute, wrangle over something, argue. Gen. found as vbl.n. hargle barg(e)lin(g), argument, disputation, haggling (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 254, -barglin). Also hargar-bargle (Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 336) and phr. to hargle and bargle, id.Sc. 1823 Lockhart Reg. Dalton III. 169:
What is the use of all this hargle-bargling? The thing is to be, I suppose — there's no disputing of that.
Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1856) III. 292:
To prevent ony hargle-barglin about it, let the first turn be mine.
Kcd. 1856 Stonehaven Jnl. (24 Jan.) 4:
I carena for the wicht that's aye for his wark, and hargle and bargle for a'.
Sc. 1874 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 194:
They meet on market-days in clachans, and after much hargle-bargeling is gone through, a gill is decided on.

[Aspirated form of Argle-bargle, id. q.v. Cf. Haggle-bargain and Argle-barg(a)in.]

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"Hargle-bargle v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2022 <>



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