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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SPRUG, n. Also sprugg; sproug, sprowg (Cai., Fif.); sprogue, sprog; ¶sprig. Dim. forms spruggie, sprowgie (Cai. 1939). A jocular or child's word for the house sparrow, Passer domesticus (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Kcb. 1878 Zoologist II. 427; Per., e.Lth., Rxb. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 60, sprig, spr(o)ug; Fif. 1887 S. Tytler Logie Town I. v., sprogue; Per., Fif. (sprowg), Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Cai., Fif., em.Sc.(b) 1971). Also in n.Eng. dial. Also fig. applied to a bright but undersized boy (Cai., Fif., Lnk. 1971). [sprʌg; Cai., Fif. sprʌug]Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xi.:
A blustering kind of chield without the heart of a sprug.
Knr. 1886 H. Haliburton Horace 48:
Chirpin' sprogs, an' cheerfu' weans?
Rnf. 1904 M. Blair Paisley Shawl 60:
A nest of sparrows, or “spruggies.”
Fif. 1916 G. Blaik Rustic Rhymes 168:
Sproug, an' yite, an' shully.
Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems 33:
'E sprowgs mak' baths in 'e ase.
Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 45:
They will be wishin' the spruggs back again.

[Met. form of Spurg, q.v.]

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"Sprug n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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