General English

  • noun a Scottish dish, made of the inner parts of a sheep cooked in a bag made from the sheep’s stomach


  • A sausage made from the minced heart, liver and lungs of a sheep mixed with oatmeal, suet, minced onion, spices, herbs and seasoning, all encased in a sheep’s stomach and boiled prior to being served hot. Nowadays more commonly stuffed in a plastic casing. Traditionally served at Burns’ night suppers with tatties, bashit neeps and an excess of whisky, whilst Burns’ Ode to the Haggis is recited with due ceremony.


  • noun a Scottish dish made of a sheep’s stomach stuffed with a mixture of the sheep’s heart, liver and other organs and oatmeal, which is boiled in water

Origin & History of “haggis”

Improbable as it may seem, the leading candidate for the source of the word haggis is Old French agace ‘magpie’. Corroborative evidence for this, circumstantial but powerful, is the word pie, which also originally meant ‘magpie’ (modern English magpie comes from it) but was apparently applied to a ‘baked pastry case with a filling’ from the notion that the collection of edible odds and ends a pie contained was similar to the collection of trinkets assembled by the acquisitive magpie. On this view, the miscellaneous assortment of sheep’s entrails and other ingredients in a haggis represents the magpie’s hoard. An alternative possibility, however, is that the word comes from the northern middle English verb haggen ‘chop’, a borrowing from Old Norse related ultimately to English hew.