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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.

LAIG, v., n. Also le(a)g; la(a)g, laug; llauge (Gregor); lyaag, lyaug, lyawg, lyahg, and reduplic. form lyaug-lyaug (ne.Sc.), liag (Abd. 1928 Word-Lore III. 149). Cf. also Lig, v.2, n. [leg, l(j)ɑ:g]

I. v. To talk volubly, to prate, chatter (Sh. (laag), Abd. (laig, lyaag), 1960); to gossip (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 107).Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlix.:
Ye winna need to sit there a' aifterneen lyaugin' wi' fowk.
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 241:
Wha's yon du's been laugin wi'?
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 31:
Hearken to the cottar wives lyaug-lyaugin' owre their shanks.
Ags. 1923 H. Beaton Benachie 105:
I jist canna suffer sic laigin', laigin' aye aboot Sauners' wife.
Abd. 1957 Bon-Accord (15 Aug.) 13:
We were sittin' laggin' an' newsin' ae day.

II. n. 1. Talk, speech; idle talk; chatter, gossip (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 100, laig, llauge; Sh. 1960, laag). Also lyawger (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.); 2. one given to gossiping, “mostly applied to women” (Gregor).1. Bnff. a.1829 J. Sellar Poems (1844) 43:
They sat an' tald auld tales and legs.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse 71:
The miller left his mill and kiln, To join them in their laig.
Clc. 1852 G. P. Boyd Misc. Poems 73:
The lofty leag o' Albion's quean, . . . Does lack the charm o' Bessy's voice.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 100:
That's naething bit the laig o' the queentry.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (19 Feb.):
Dat's dy daily laag noo for a ook.
Bnff. 1960:
I canna be bather't wi' her lyaag.

[Cf. Norw. dial. laga, to prate, chatter; ultimately from same root as Lay. Cf. lay aff s.v.]

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"Laig v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Dec 2022 <>



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