Of uncertain origin; 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. Tomás S. Ó Máille and some older dictionaries like Skeat's derive it from Irish naigín, cnaigín, from cnagaire, cnag, but the Oxford English Dictionary argues that Irish naigín and Scottish Gaelic noigean instead derive from English. Compare nog.
noggin (plural noggins)
- A small mug, cup or ladle.
- (dated outside dialects) A small measure of spirits equivalent to a gill.
- (slang) The head.
- (biochemistry) A signalling molecule involved in embryo development, producing large heads at high concentrations.
- (New Zealand) Alternative form of
- (measure of spirits): naggin (still current in Ireland)
- Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.
- ^ 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 81937840.
- ^ Tomás S. Ó Máille, Seanfhocla Chonnacht, Cois Life, 2010, pag 368
- ^ Walter William Skeat, A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (1882), page 233