Shoogle

One interesting word I’ve heard people using in Shetland is shoogle [ʃogl; ʃugl; ʃʌgl; ʃʌugl], which means;

– to sway, move unsteadily, to rock, wobble, swing;
– to shake, joggle, to cause to totter or rock, to swing backwards and forwards;
– to jog along, move with little unsteady jerks; to shuffle in walking

It is also written shogle, schogle, shooggle, shougle, shuggle and shochle, and comes from the word shog (jolt, shake), from the Middle English shoggen, shaggen [source].

A related word is shoogly, which means wobbly.

Here are a few examples of usage (from the Dictionary of the Scots Language):

– It’s a bit rusty but it still works – you just have to give the key a bit of a shoogle in the lock.

– Gie the salad dressin a shoogle tae mix it right.

– It was gey shoggly and sometimes I fell off.

– Will I hae to shoogle hands wi’ a’ that crood?

I just like the sound of this word.

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This entry was posted in English, Language, Scots.

6 Responses to Shoogle

  1. Sathyarthi says:

    My first thought was:

    v. ‘shoogle’ = shopping/surfing online for footwear on google…!!

    Come to think of it, there’s a shoe shop by this very name down my neck of the woods in Surrey!

  2. David Eger says:

    My only encounter with ‘shoogle’, as far as I can recall, is as part of the name of the Edinburgh-based band, Shooglenifty. (Does that name have some other meaning?)

    One of the English definitions in the Dictionary of the Scots Language is ‘joggle’ – not a word I’ve ever used, but presumably the same as ‘jiggle’. Could ‘shoogle’ or ‘shoggle’ be a Gaelic-influenced version of the same? (cf. John-Sean, James-Seamus etc.)

  3. Chris Miller says:

    Ditto David Eger, first paragraph.

  4. Simon says:

    David and Chris – on the Shooglenifty website one of the members of the band mentions that the name just came into his head. I don’t think that name has any particular meaning.

  5. Di says:

    Siglo / shiglo = to shake in Welsh – whether shake hands, shake your head,

  6. P. says:

    I wonder if this is the long-sought source of “chooglin'”, a term popularized (and allegedly invented) by John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival? See here for one light-hearted discussion of the term. They even named a box set after it.