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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Wa(l)kin(g, Wach(e)ing, vbl. n.1 Also: wa(l)kyn(g, walkyne, -eng, valkin, -eyn, wakkyne, waikin(g, vaiking, wachein, wachsing, watching, watschin, vaching, weching, -yne, wetch(e)ing, veyching, wyching. [ME and e.m.E. wacunge (c1175), wakinge (Ayenbite), wakyng (Piers Plowman), wecchynge (1479-81), watchynge (1526), wackinge (1572).]

1. The action of remaining awake, the state of wakefulness, lack of sleep; a period of wakefulness. (Walk v.1 1.)(a) 1375 Barb. iii 318.
In sic trawailling With cauld and hunger and waking
1375 Barb. xviii 256.
With his ost … he lay At Culros for he wald assay To ger hys fayis throw fasting Be feblyst and throw lang walking
1456 Hay II 116/7.
He mon be mesurit in sleping and waking
1528 Lynd. Dreme 142.
Throw my walkyng on the nycht before … Constranit I was to sleip
1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 94.
His doloure ilk daye grew mair … for he wes resoluit in ane continewall swette with ane perpetuall walking
1533 Boece 287b.
The king eftir sa lang walking was in ane profound sleip
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2318.
Ane walking come vpon this elderin knicht He culd not sleip
a1568 Scott xv 15.
Siching, sadnes … Walking, thocht, langour
a1578 Pitsc. I 96/13.
(b) c1580-90 Rules of Health.
Watching & sleip: sleip not on the day

2. The action of waking up. (Walk v.1 2.) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 428.
Gif he persauis sone efter his walking That his bed is remouit ony thing [etc.]

b. The action of reviving (a legal process). = Walk(i)ning vbl. n. 3. 1558 Acts II 521/1.
Sie it be procedit in the said mater … becaus the said summondis … restit for interlocutour tobe gevin thairupoun and slepit sensyne, as in ane supplicatioun gevin in for walking of the said mater
1642 Aberd. Council Lett. II 345.
Item to rais ane waking of the summonds
1642 Aberd. Council Lett. II 328.

3. The action of remaining awake as a religious duty; a vigil. (Walk v.1 4.) b. A vigil carried out over a corpse. (Walk v.1 4 b.) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi 775.
Prayere & wakkyne
a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 868.
c1420 Wynt. v 4187 (C).
c1420 Wynt. v 4730.
c1520-c1535 Nisbet 2 Cor. vi 5.
In wakingis, in fastingis
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3467.
For our saik great harmis suffered He In fasting, walking [etc.]
1562-3 Winȝet I 107/2.
Thair being sa mony thingis requirit to trew pennance … as sobing, mourning, and teris, walking, fasting, prayair and almus deid
1551 Hamilton Cat. 119.
Our flesche suld be … dantit … with walking, fasting and labouris … Honest walking [L. vigilia] sall mortifie the flesche
1596 Dalr. I 107/7.
b. 1521 Edinb. Hammermen 104.
The deth of Sir Wilzem … & waikin of hym that nycht

4. The action or state of being diligent or attending to a task with diligence. (Walk v.1 5.) 1558 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XXV 112.
[That] he with dew diligence waik on the teching of the said schole vsand na uther cuir nor office quhilkis may be preiuditiall … [to] the instruking or dew waiking of the said schole

5. The action of keeping watch, watching out (for) or guarding (against), or an instance of this. (Walk v.1 6, 7.) b. Wakyn (waching) and wanding; walking, warding, wacheing. (Walk v.1 7 b.)(1) 14.. Burgh Laws c. 88 (B).
Of wakyng [A. walkyn; Skene Reg. Maj. I 129b, watching] … Of ilk hows that ony man dwellys in the qwhilk may wake … sal gang dure be dure wyth … armys and thai sal pas furth at the couerfew tyme [A. thai sal pas to thar walkyne] and thai sal bysily and wysly wake qwhil in the mornyng
1576 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 301.
1643 Dumfries Treas. Acc. 3a.
To the prissoneris for waking of hir
16… Bk. Dunvegan 210.
At Glengarrie for waking of cows
(b) 1488 Lanark B. Rec. 3.
For the walkyn of baukis, iiij d.
1506 Treas. Acc. III 197.
To Johne Knox wif for keping walking and expens of Curry liand seik
1531 Bell. Boece I 240.
Dredoure that na trinchis nor walking micht be sufficient munitioun to thair army
1533 Boece 317b.
1534–5 Wigtown B. Ct. 300b.
iii cronys for hyrdyne valkeyn & gres maill
1571–2 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 68.
George Fergusson entered the walkin in the tolbuith head at command of the counsall to walk week about with Patrick Dawson
1572 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II 383.
For walkin of the kirk the tyme the lard Achindowne was heir
(c) 1613–14 Aberd. Shore Wk. Acc. 80.
1683 Sheriffhall Coal Accompt 9 June.
For waiking the hill 3 nights
(d) 1499 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 97.
For vaching
1570 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 27 July.
Gif ony wache man failȝeis in his wachein
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 311.
1622-6 Bisset II 219/4.
The taxt to be payed in tyme of wear be the parrochineris subiect to the admirall for the watching
1643 Dunferm. Kirk S. 12.
The magistrates of the burgh cravit help of those of the landewart for watching
1643 Culross Kirk S. in Scot. Ant. V 116.
The minister … ordains that toun and land per vices shall attend the watching of the witches in toune or land
1644 Pittenweem Ann. 52.
Advyce concerning the watching of Christian Dote, and her dyett of sleepe, meate, and drink
c1650 Spalding (BC) I 120.
The marquess wondering at the watching of his lodgeing … [supra causes sett strait watches at the foir and back yeitts of his lodgeing]
(e) 1530 Aberd. B. Rec. I 136.
For the wetching and keping of this gude tovne
1558–9 Edinb. Old Acc. I 282.
To viij men for bigging of the blak yet of the Grayfreirs … to ane to play be the space of thre nychts at the weching of the freirs
1573 Treas. Acc. XII 343.
To twa men … in keping and wetcheing of the rys and brume … lyand at the Grayfreir porte
(f) 1571 Lanark B. Rec. 63.
(2) 1533 Bell. Livy II 225/4.
The Romanis in the Capitoll war sowpit & oursett with continuall statiouns & watchingis [L. vigiliis]
b. 1456 Peebles B. Rec. I 113.
Scottyng and lottyng wakyn and wardyn
1513 Reg. Privy S. I 382/2.
Ane exemptioun maid to Henry Luvell … fra all passing on assis, and fra all passing to ony hoistis, assemblance or wapinschewingis, walking, warding or uther personale chargis
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 252.
Sua many as remanyit … tuik sic labouris vpoun thame in casting of the fowseyis waching and warding and defending of the wallis thairof [sc. Edinburgh]
1576–7 Lanark B. Rec. 72.
The said William duelt and ramanit in brugh and peyit skot, lot, waching and warding
1578 Reg. Privy S. VII 278/2.
Exemand him fra all waching, warding, walking and contributioun within burgh
1579 Reg. Privy C. III 217.
Subject to all taxationis, wacheing, warding, and utheris impositionis liand upoun the said burgh
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 104b (Table).
Watching and walking in the time of nicht, within burgh, sould be carefullie keiped, by reason of danger and fire, and other inconvenients
1613 Glasgow Merchants House 111.
In all taxatiounis, watchingis, and wardingis to be layit vpon this burcht
1615 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 172.
Wacheing warding and vther portabill chairgis of burcht burdeins
1630 Comm. Univ. II (Glasg.) App. 248.
Et ab omnibus vigiliis, guardiis et pedagiis, vulgo lie watching, warding, and pedages

6. The action of watching in order to do harm, harm done by stealth or intrigue. (Cf. Wach(e n. 6.) a1400 Leg. S. xiii 131.
The bischapis … Gret wechyne mad besyly, To tak Sancte Marke, for invy
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 614 (C).
Gregeois, yharnand … The wachingis [D. vachinges] for to execud … Of thare fraudfull gyle
1531 Bell. Boece I 56.
He … tuke purpos to sla thir conspiratouris be sum hid waching
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 346.
The samyn erar cumin be vaching of the devill … than be violence of wedder
1531 Bell. Boece II 510.
a1538 Abell 14b.
This King Ferythair wes slane be watschin of his brothir sone
1538–9 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 203.
That nane be fownd one the kingis streit bot veychemen … And geif ony regratouris or nycht vaikaris dois violens or oppression, we ordand thaim to be put in the kingis rowes … for veyching and hurtyng of thairis nychtboris
Arundel MS 248/295.
That thou keip my saule … fra wachingis of my enemeis
1566 Crim. Trials I i 483.
For the treasonabill wacheing, warding, and impresoning of our soueran lady within hir palice of Halyrudehouse

7. A period of time, a ‘watch’ of the night. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark vi 48.
About the feerd walking of the nycht [W. waking]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke ii 8.
And schephirdis war in the sammin cuntre wakand and kepand the wacheingis of the nycht on thare flock

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"Wakin vbl. n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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