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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.

Wanwe(i)rd, Wanewerd, n. [Wan- prefix and We(i)rd n.] Misfortune, bad luck; an instance of this. Also personified. 1513 Doug. i v 24.
I tuke comfort heirof, thinkand but baid That hard wanwerd suld follow fortoun glaid
1535 Stewart 32450.
Gratius [God] that hes all thing in erd At His weil[d]ing to weill or ȝit wan werd
15.. Dunb. App. ii 76.
Sen for no wisdome, nor no strenth, Nor for no riches in this erd, That ony man his lyf may lenth, Naythir for freyndschip agane wanewerd
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 360/19.
‘Wanweird’, scho said, ‘Quhat have I wrocht That on me kythit hes all this cair?’
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 422/101.
Ȝour foirbearis … Luit wanweirdis wirk and walter as thai wald
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 126.
For him I will stryve aganis wan weird
personified 1604-31 Craig v 9.
Perchance before that thou her againe see, By vote of the wan-weirds, that buried shee bee

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"Wanwerd n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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