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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ONHANGER, n. A dependent, hanger-on (Uls. 1964).Sc. 1821 Scott Kenilworth iii.:
He was an onhanger of the Abbot of Abingdon.
Sc. 1848 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 52:
A throng of unruly onhangers.
Sc. 1886 J. S. Blackie What Does History Teach? 14:
A loose company of dependents and onhangers.
em.Sc. 1994 Hamish Henderson in R. Ross Cencrastus 48 10:
In any case a sort of literary divide had begun to open up in Edinburgh, separating the literary gents and their onhangers - who frequented the Abbotsford Bar in Rose Street, and Milne's Bar at the corner of Rose Street and Hanover Street - and the "folkies" who from '51 onwards gravitated towards Sandy Bell's.

[Cf. Eng. hangers-on, id., and On-, pref.1]

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"Onhanger n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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