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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LAGGER, v., n. Also lagar; laiger, laiggar, layger; l(y)aager (Cai.), ¶lhagair. [′lɑgər]

I. v. 1. intr. To sink in soft, miry or muddy ground, to be encumbered by walking through mire, snow or the like (Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 460, lhagair; Cai., Bnff. 1902 E.D.D.; Ork., Abd., Fif. 1960). Also fig. Freq. in ppl.adj. laggert, (laigered Uls. 1990s).Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
We say that one laggered, or is laggered, when he hath come through a Slough or deep muddy place.
Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 26:
Laagart an' trachel'd as I wis wi' tawin amo' the dubs.
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption vi.:
The bully-ragging Doctor had been deeper laigered and made ten times clartier than he was.
Rnf. 1878 C. Fleming Poems 256:
She's laigert deep in debt!

2. To walk lazily or with difficulty as in carrying a heavy burden, to shamble (Ags. 1960).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 199:
There's hir laggerin' wee that littlin o' hirs. A got 'ir laggerin', an' tackin' haim girs t' the kye.
n.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
He cam' laigerin' alang as if naebody wantit him.

3. tr. To cause to sink or become bogged in soft, wet ground, ppl.adj. laggering, miry, apt to bemire (Gregor); to encumber, overload (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.).Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 20:
Fan laggert wi' this bouksome graith, You will tyne half your speed.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 99:
He took the horse our far up the lair, an' laggert thim.

4. tr. To besmear, bespatter, esp. with mud or wet clay (Sc. 1725 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 256; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Ork., Cai., Ags., Slg. Fif., 1960); fig. to spread thickly, of butter, etc. (Fif.17 1950, laiger; Ork. 1960); (laiger Uls. 1990s). Cf. Slaiger.Mry. 1790 Aberdeen Mag. 31:
The sheep tak' to scoug, wi' a weet lagart fleece.
Lnk. 1844 J. Lemon Lays 49:
An' there we laiggart a' our cheeks Wi' the bonnie purpie dye.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxviii.:
The croon o' my hat, which was completely laggered wi' glaur.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lanwart Loon 8:
A' laggert ower wi' muck an' shairn.

II. n. 1. Mire, mud, a soft, muddy place (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 99; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Cai., Ags., Fif. 1960); in pl. mud-spots (n.Sc. 1880 Jam.). Adj. laggery, miry, muddy (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ags. 1960); deriv. laggery, a mess, a state of muddle or chaos.Arg. 1914 J. M. Hay Gillespie i. xv.:
The kitchen's a' a laggery o' wreck wi' rain an' wun'.
Ags. 1948 Forfar Dispatch (26 Feb.):
I got my shune a' glaur rinnin owre the Muir, it's that laggery.

2. Anything clinging or sticky, a smear of food, grease, etc. (Uls. 1953 Traynor); clinging dampness on grass in the morning.Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 31:
That laager's lang in liftin' this mornin'.

[Appar. a freq. form of obs. Eng. lag, to make wet or muddy, of uncertain, phs. imit., orig.; alternatively, in meaning 1. phs. rather from lag, to fall behind (cf. Lag, adj.), with semantic extension to the other meanings.]

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"Lagger v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2023 <>



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