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See also: noggen



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.[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): /ˈnɑɡɨn/, /ˈnɑɡn̩/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈnɒɡɪn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒɡɪn


noggin (plural noggins)

English Wikipedia has an article on:
  1. A small mug, cup or ladle.
  2. (dated outside dialects) A small measure of spirits equivalent to a gill.
    • 1836, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
      I don’t know out to a slight lunch of a bushel of oysters, a dozen or so of bottled ale, and a noggin or two of whiskey to close up with.
  3. (slang) The head.
    • 2003, James D. Doss, Dead Soul [1]
      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 [2]
      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. (New Zealand) Alternative form of nogging (horizontal beam)

Alternative forms[edit]

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



  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 81937840.
  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