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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PERLAIG, v., n. Also perlya(a)g, -laug, pirlaag. See P.L.D. § 141.1. [pər′l(j)ɑ:g]

I. v. To put off time, procrastinate, gen. in ppl.adj. perlaigit, harassed or in arrears with one's work (Abd. 1958), and agent n. pirlaager, a dawdler, procrastinator at work.Abd. 1966 Huntly Express (28 Jan.) 4:
He's aye a sod pirlaager.

II. n. Trash, rubbish, a worthless object, a nasty or nauseous mixture of scraps (Sc. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.), freq. applied to cheap elaborate foods or sweetmeats which have little value as nourishment (Bnff., Abd. 1965).Abd. 1904 Weekly Free Press (25 June):
They say't road scrapin's an' a' perlyaag's mixt up the gidder an' saul' for manure.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 48:
Fa's gaun tae Inrury the morn, for perlyaag tae aet at Yeel.
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS. iii.:
Syne it got a moggan tied on to its moo to keep it frae eatin' straes or ony orra perlaug for the first nine days.
Bnff. 1929 Banffshire Jnl. (17 Sept.):
She hid niver hard o' this byous new veetymin perlyag bit she kent fat wis gweed for body an' beest.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxii.:
An aal pirlyaag o' a cloot 'at A fan.

[Per-, pref., + lag, to fall behind, with influence from Lagger, v., n., esp. in II.]

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"Perlaig v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2022 <>



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