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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MAUGRE, prep., n., v. Also mauger; magre, magger, maggar; maager (Abd. 1957 Bon-Accord (7 March)); magyers; maigers (Rnf. 1825 Jam.); meagre; ¶maacher [′mɑgər].

I. prep. In spite of, despite, notwithstanding. Also phr. maugre o', id. (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 111). Often preceding the name of a part of the body, as heid, neck, = in spite of all that — could do.Sc. a.1714 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 472:
Maugre all the prejudice of warr they adhyred to ther maister.
Sc. 1755 Smollet Don Quix. (1803) IV. 202:
I persevere in this career, maugre and in despite of my own understanding.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 184:
An' learn, that maugre o' his wame, Ill bairns are ay best heard at hame.
Ayr. 1789 D. Sillar Poems 110:
But maugre a' Levi cou'd say, Tae mak it better.
s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 99:
I — maugre all the experience of misery I had had — could scarcely look on the animated corpse thus.
Crm. 1854 H. Miller Schools 466:
I continued my rounds, maugre the suspicion.
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister xliii.:
I couldna hae moved, magre my neck.
Sc. 1896 A. Lang Monk of Fife iv.:
The brigands . . . were, to my shame, and maugre my head, for a time of my own company.
n.Sc. 1929 J. B. Philip Weelum o' the Manse 26:
A missed some o' his words meagre o' ma neck.

II. n. 1. In phrs. i' (the) maugre o', a (or the) maugre o', in spite of (Bnff. 1962). Cf. above.Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb vii.:
We hae stood to oor prenciples as yet, an' we'll dee't still, i' maugre o' an Erastian Presbytery.
Abd. 1891 G. W. Anderson Strathbogie 170:
We'll hand them back at Miltoun foord, A'maggar o' their necks, sirs!
Abd. 1918 C. Murray Sough o' War 20:
To houk oor trench an' haud it there the mauger o' them a'.
Bch. 1920 per Abd.27:
I'm aye slippin' i' the mauger o' my neck.

2. As in †Eng.: ill-will, bad feeling (Sc. 1845 T. Brown Dict. 85). Derivs. (1) magerfu(l), masterful, domineering, wilful, headstrong, eager to assert authority (Abd., Per., Slk. 1962); (2) maugersome, stubbornly wicked, obstinate, spiteful (Abd.19 1930).(1) Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister ix.:
She spirited hersel' awa', the magerful crittur.
Sc. 1931 J. Lorimer Red Sergeant xix.:
Was she the same that had been called “a magerful maid”?
Mry. 1941 I. Cameron Fascinating Hat xxii.:
Joe peered out after her. “A magerful woman”, he said.
Sc. 1943 A. Lamont Patria Deserta 52:
Great men were magerfu' an' dour ains ever.
(2) Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 81:
Sic maugersome billies an' sic limmers te fley Teuk a' o' my can an' my ugliest leems.

III. v. 1. To act in defiance or despite of, to get the better of, master, worst; to spite.Abd. 1845 G. Murray Islaford 94:
Which white-rose loyalty lay snug in And maugred malice.
Abd. 1891 G. W. Anderson Strathbogie 232:
Another bon sabreur, with the utmost ease, shaved off one by one all the buttons, brooches, and buckles from his antagonist's highland dress, and would have lopped off his legs next had his rival not cried out, in the very nick of time. “Be-haud ye, sir! I'm fairly maggert!”
Per. 1903 E.D.D.:
He did it to magyers ye.
Abd. 1914 J. Leatham Daavit 26:
“The Decline and Fall” . . . a' the fowre vollums. They think they can maacher them in a fortnicht.
Abd. 1922 Weekly Free Press (11 Feb.) 2:
Th' tae time I wid maugre you, an' neist nicht ye wid lick me a' t' sticks.
Kcd. 1957 Mearns Leader (1 Feb.):
Ay, ye've a naisty deevil o' a caul', but we'll maugert yet, never fear, my lass.

2. To hurt, to harm, to injure (Bnff. 1962).Bnff. 1929 Banffshire Jnl. (17 Sept.) 2:
“A'm dootin',” says he, “ye've mauger't yer airms noo.”

[O.Sc. malgre, ill-will, from 1513, magra off, c.1470, in magir of, in spite of, from 1535. Mid.Eng. maugre, ill-will, displeasure, in spite of, O.Fr. malgré, sorrow, difficulty, discontentment, Mod.Fr. malgré, in spite of.]

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"Maugre prep., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2023 <>



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