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1NZ A lock of wool matted with dung hanging from the hindquarters of a sheep.
- ‘Farmers and farmers-hands may regularly cut off the dags to keep their sheep clean.’
- ‘The fleece is so cut that the wool around the base of the legs and backside runs in a continuous line, from which it is easy to strip the dags, the stains and the prickles.’
- ‘Besides reducing methane emissions, condensed tannins have other animal-related benefits, including improved milk yields, increased liveweight gain, decreased internal parasite burden and reduced bloat, dags and fly strike.’
2NZ informal An entertainingly eccentric person; a character.‘your father must have been a bit of a dag’
- ‘Although it is hard to play favourites with such a loveable bunch of dags, I must confess to preferring mum Janelle to the rest.’
3informal A conservative or unfashionable person.
- ‘We've all known people like Steve, the likeable dag with big dreams.’
- ‘Floyd may be a bit of a dag, but he's a pretty nifty player when it comes to badminton!’
- 3.1An untidy or dirty-looking person.
- 3.2An awkward adolescent.
verb[WITH OBJECT]Australian, NZ
Cut dags from (a sheep)‘we failed to have the ewes dagged’
- ‘Dagging sheep is the worst job on the farm.’
- ‘The flock is moved to fresh pasture and the sheep are dagged to prepare for shearing.’
- ‘Ideally sheep should be dagged before shearing particularly if they are excessively soiled.’
- ‘Dag the sheep at least seven days before shearing.’
- ‘Robert has returned to the farm to dag sheep and I'm staying here with the dog, cats and the baby.’
rattle one's dags
informal Hurry up.
hurry up, accelerate, move faster, go faster, drive faster, get a move on, put a spurt on, open it up, increase speed, pick up speed, gather speedView synonyms
- ‘Rattle your dags darlin’, let's get out of here.’
- ‘So if Ivy isn't quick enough with the shearing I'll just have to tell her to rattle her dags!’
Late Middle English (denoting a hanging pointed part of something): possibly related to tag. dag dates from the early 17th century; dag is a transferred use of English dialect meaning ‘a challenge’.
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