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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

HOGA, n. Also hog; hogi(n), hogen (Jak.), and hoger, in sense 2.

1. Pasture in general, specif. that on the hill or outfield (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1957). Freq. in place-names.Sh. 1772 A. C. O'Dell Hist. Geog. Sh. (1939) 242:
The Hoga equivalent to Hammereast is that part of the Scattald next adjacent to the towns.
Sh. 1822 S. Hibbert Descr. Sh. 458:
In ancient times, a hill or uninclosed pasture ground, was expressed by the term Hoga; this is nearly synonimous at the present day with scathold.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (18 March):
Your young horse is up i' da hoga.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
De kye will no keep de hog, the cows will not keep to the pasture where they ought to graze. . . . To drive de sheep to de fardest hoga . . . put de kye to de hogin! drive the cows into the hill-pasture!

Combs.: (1) hogaland, cattle-pasture, now used only as a place-name exc. in island of Unst (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); †(2) hogaleave, -lif, -li(v), hagalef, leave or permission granted by one person to another to cut peats, etc., or graze cattle or sheep on his outfield in return for a small payment (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), 1914 Angus Gl.); the payment made for this privilege (Sh. 1825 Jam., 1908 Jak. (1928)).(2) Sh. 1771 Old-Lore Misc. III. iv. 217:
Gardon has peats and thatch from Snabrough, for which they pay a yearly payment called hogaleave.
Sh. 1809 A. Edmonston Zetland I. 149:
If there be no moss in the scatthold contiguous to his farm, the tenant must pay for the privilege to cut peat in some other common, and this payment is called hogalif.
Sc. 1822 Scott Pirate ii.:
I know the meaning of . . . hawkhen and hagalef, and every other exaction, by which your lords, in ancient and modern days, have wrung your withers.

2. A haunt, place of resort, a familiar spot (‡Sh. 1957); fig. a position, a state; a condition. Cf. Heft, n.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
He's come back till his auld hoga . . . du's been in a guid hoga, you seem to have had a good time . . . he's come till a bony hoga, [ironically, he's got himself into a fine mess!]. . . . Sho made a puir hoger o' him, she did not look well after him . . . hit cam' till a puir hoger, it . . . had a poor result . . . he made a puir hoger o' it, he made a muddle of it.

[Norw. hage, O.N. hagi, pasture, grazing ground. Hoger may be due to confusion in form and meaning with Hagri, Hagger, n.1]

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"Hoga n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2023 <>



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