From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: noggen



Uncertain; attested since the 1600s (e.g. in The Tincker of Turvey) in several forms including the still-current Irish English form naggin, the rare older Irish, Scottish and Northern English form noggan, used by Jonathan Swift, and the Wexford form nuggeen.[1][2] Tomás S. Ó Máille and some older dictionaries like Skeat's derive it from Irish naigín, cnaigín, from cnagaire, cnag,[3][4] but the Oxford English Dictionary argues that Irish naigín and Scottish Gaelic noigean instead derive from English.[1] Compare nog.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈnɑɡɪn/, /ˈnɑɡn̩/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈnɒɡɪn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒɡɪn


noggin (plural noggins)

English Wikipedia has an article on:
  1. A small mug, cup or ladle; the contents of such a container.
    • 1889, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Parson of Jackman's Gulch:
      Here Nat Adams, the burly bar-keeper, dispensed bad whisky at the rate of two shillings a noggin, or a guinea a bottle…
    • 1999, “Bold Doherty”, in Midsummer's Night[1], performed by Dervish:
      I needed some nails for to rivet them down...When you go to town you can buy the full noggin but beware you bring none of your fancibles home.
  2. (dated outside dialects) A small measure of spirits equivalent to a gill.
    • 1836 March – 1837 October, Charles Dickens, chapter 49, in The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1837, →OCLC:
      I don’t know whether any of you, gentlemen, ever partook of a real, substantial, hospitable Scotch breakfast, and then went to a slight lunch of a bushel of oysters, a dozen or so of bottled ale, and a noggin or two of whisky to close up with.
  3. (slang) The head.
    • 2003, James D. Doss, Dead Soul[2]:
      Or maybe he bumped his noggin when he fell down—after he got clipped on the legs.
    • 2003, John Farris, The Fury and the Power[3]:
      She bumped her noggin on the bulkhead above the doorway, smiled in apology for her presumed clumsiness.
  4. (biochemistry) A signalling molecule involved in embryo development, producing large heads at high concentrations.
  5. Alternative form of nogging (horizontal beam)

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (measure of spirits): naggin (still current in Ireland)

Derived terms[edit]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.
  2. ^ Joseph Wright, editor (1903), “NOGGIN”, in The English Dialect Dictionary: [], volume IV (M–Q), London: Henry Frowde, [], publisher to the English Dialect Society, []; New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, →OCLC.
  3. ^ Tomás S. Ó Máille, Seanfhocla Chonnacht, Cois Life, 2010, pag 368
  4. ^ Walter William Skeat, A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (1882), page 233