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See also: noggen




Origin unknown. (Irish naigín, Scottish Gaelic noigean are both from English.) Compare nog. As a drink measure, perhaps related to naggin.



noggin (plural noggins)

  1. A small mug, cup or ladle.
  2. (dated) A measure 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)



  • OED 2nd edition 1989