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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

JOUGS,, v. Also jug(g)s, jugges; jowgs; jogs, jogg(e)s, jogues; gogs (Ork. 1709 A. W. Johnston Church in Ork. (1940) 99), guges; choucks (Per. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 X. 502). The form jag(g) (Sc. 1884 C. Rogers Soc. Life Scot. I. 354) is unhistorical. [dʒugz]

I. n. Reg. in pl. An instrument of punishment or public ignominy consisting of a hinged iron collar attached by a chain to a wall or post and locked round the neck of the offender. Freq. used as an ecclesiastical discipline in the early 18th c. Now only hist. or fig. Rarely in sing. (Sc. 1772 T. Pennant Tour 1769 142).Bnff. 1712 W. Cramond Grant Court Bk. (1897) 20:
John Roy to stand in the jogs on the Sabbath day at the kirk of Cromdale for scandalising of Janet Calder.
Ork. 1722 Ork. Miscellany II. 30:
The Civil Magistrates ordered the Officer to take him to the Guges and they being put upon his shoulders to be put about his neck.
Abd. 1748 Abd. Journal (1–8 March):
Wednesday last a young Lad of about 15, . . . climbed up the Joggs of this City (a Place where Criminals have their Ears &c. fixed).
Fif. 1757 A. Laing Lindores Abbey (1876) 296:
Each of them stand two hours in the jugs with the [stolen] kypper tyed about their necks.
Hdg. 1781 J. Miller Lamp of Lothian (1844) 508:
She was condemned to stand in the juggs, in terms of a sentence of the magistrates.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley x.:
He set an old woman in the jougs (or Scottish pillory).
Ayr. 1826 Galt Lairds xviii.:
I'm no overly fond o' the rule and austerity o' a wife, after the experience that I hae had o' the juggs o' matrimony.
Per. 1831 Perthshire Advertiser (29 Dec.):
Indeed, unless not only the “cutty stool,” but also “the jags” and the “sack gown,”' be speedily restored to their pristine dignity, there is no saying to what an extent iniquity may abound among us.
m.Lth. 1842 Children in Mines Report II. 450:
If we did not do his bidding we were placed by the necks in iron collars, called juggs, and fastened to the wall.
Mry. 1887 A. G. Wilken Peter Laing 43:
I ance saw a wife in the “jogs” at the auld Elgin jail, faur the fountain is noo. She was an' awfu' carline for stealin', an' she was faisten't to the wa' ootside wi' irons that gaed across her briest.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 115:
He nearly herry't the haill country-side tae get things tae sen' tae Sir Walter Scott, an took the verra jougs aff Threave Castle an sent them.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 6:
In the village of Old Rain is a market cross, and in the pillar were rings which were called “gogs”, where those who gave offence were bound and exposed to the public eye.
Ayr. 1951 Stat. Acc.3 498:
The ancient “jougs”, a hinged iron collar fastened by a chain to the wall [of Fenwick church], for the correction of evildoers, remain.
Sc. 1994 Herald 21 Sep 16:
The pillory, and the stocks, and the jougs, whereby malefactors were attached for varying periods to the kirk wall, were all used for the punishment of petty crime, chiefly because jails tended to be small and imprisonment was regarded as being an unwarrantable expense for the burgesses to bear.
Gsw. 1997 Herald 7 Aug 8:
Guilty persons had to swear repentance on oath in front of the congregation wearing sackcloth, often to be sentenced for so many public appearances in the "jougs".
Sc. 1999 Edinburgh Evening News 26 Mar 33:
For the unfortunate man was clamped in the jougs as a punishment, or penitence. This metal punishment collar was frequently used in most parishes of 14th, 15th and 16th century Scotland.
Sc. 1999 Scotsman 30 Sep 21:
The old iron jougs hanging on its chain by the gate was a stern reminder of a time when such spirited contravention of the sabbath might have been severely dealt with.

Used attrib. in combs. (1) jogg-irons, the chains attaching the jougs to the wall; (2) jugg-tree, jowg-, a tree used for affixing the jougs.(1) Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 28:
The jogg-irons wur roosted i' the wa.
(2) Per. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 X. 1256:
An ash near the house, called the jug-tree.
Kcd. 1881 Trans. Highl. Soc. 205:
About a mile south-east, close to Glenbervie House, stands a . . . very old oak tree . . . called the “Jowg Tree”, from the fact that a pair of “jowgs” were in olden times fastened to it.

II. v. To confine in the jougs (I.Sc. 1866 Edm. Gl.).Inv. 1744 Trans. Gael. Soc. Inv. XIV. 76:
Impowering our respective Deputes, to use such criminalls by scourging, jugging, stocks, and other punishments.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 30:
The' wur t'ree o' is sair against joggan' Brockie.

[O.Sc. chokes, 1559, jogs, 1563, jokis, jougs, 1587, juggs, 1620, n., jok, jog(g), v., from 1593. Orig. doubtful. The history of the forms suggests that the word is a voiced variant, with extended meaning, of choke, in the gen. sense of anything that restricts the throat. The spelling may have been influenced by learned, esp. clerical, association with Lat. iugum, Fr. joug, a yoke, which however has no meaning recorded sim. to the Sc. The pl. refers to the two hinged halves of the collar. Cf. the sim. development in Branks, n.1, q.v.]

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"Jougs n. pl.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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