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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.

LAG, n.4, v. Also laag, laug.

I. n. ‡1. A manner of lying, the way in which a thing lies or is set, specif. of a mill-stone's adjustment to a particular kind of grain (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
A millstone is laid upon a “bere lag,” or on a “et lag”; i.e., the upper stone is raised or lowered so that the corn may be ground finer or coarser [for barley or oats].

2. A tug, a pull, esp. on an oar or in beaching a boat (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 132, 1914 Angus Gl.).

3. A catch of fish (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1960).Sh. 1899 Shetland News (11 Feb.):
Feth we're da better o' dee, my Sibbie, or dan we'd no gotten sic laags.

4. Fig. A humour, mood, temper (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1960); a state of excitement or high spirits. Of fish: inclination to bite.Sh. 1899 Shetland News (2 Dec.):
A'm seen dee apon anidder laag at a cairdin'.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Der'r a lag upo dee; du is in a lag. Der'r nae lag on de fish.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 9:
Daa is shürly no richt i' his upper story da night. A'm no heard him apo' siccan a laug shünner i' mi time.

II. v. 1. To pour or spread over in layers.Sh. 1898 Shetland News (5 Nov.):
Shü took da buggie wi' hit ower ta laag hit oot apo' William's mull.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
To lag a midden.

2. To tug, pull, trail, drag a short distance at a time (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 132, Sh. 1960), to tug at an oar (Id.), to drag a boat (up) on a beach (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), to carry in small amounts at a time as hay or corn (Id.).Sh. 1897 Shetland News (6 Nov.):
My legs is at dat wi' da gjoger efter laagin' up shürely fifty paet-kissies o' tatties fae da fit o' da toon yesterday.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 128:
He's laagin da dokkin büddie wi' his handel apon his shooder.

[Ad. Norw. lag, position, layer, mood, etc., O.N. lag, id., a thrust, stab, Norw. dial. laga, to put in order, prepare, the v. meanings being appar. mainly derived from the n.]

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"Lag n.4, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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