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

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

War(e, Wair, v.1 Also: warr(e, var(r)e, vair, waire, wayr, vayr, uair(e, waar, weir, wear, warie. P.t. also ward, wairt, warat. P.p. also wairt, waird, vaird, weard. [ME and e.m.E. ware(n (14th c.), warre (c1440), ON verja.]

1. tr.To make use of, utilise, employ (a person, ability, thing, etc.) as a resource, for a purpose, etc. Also reflex. to conduct oneself. Also const. prep. Also absol. c1420 Wynt. v 2419.
Saynct Laurens Gadryd … Off pure folk a gret menyhe … And sayd, ‘Lo here, schyre empryowre, Off the kyrk the gret tresore … Gyff that thow may ware welle this, The growyng sall be hewynnys blys'
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1286.
His wapoun sa on thame he wairit, Quhome euer he hit … Thay did him na mair deir
1555 Corr. M. Lorraine 404.
I sall want no the gud well to the serwis of yowr grace to wair me and all myin … the sawill onely to God, the rest bot partt to yowr grace
1560 Inverness Rec. I 47.
To preff ix fyrryn burdis he geff hym to his trochis to the said myll quhilk he warit nocht on it to the sayd day
1562-3 Winȝet I 50/20.
I persauit this new proud prince, and his Caluiniane brethir … to hef subdewit sa to thame, wnder sik thirldum thair miserable scoleris, … to cause thame to wair and hasert thair geris and bodyis for thair plesuir
1572 Sempill in Sat. P. xxx 145.
To mak sic change, ȝe wair ȝour wit in vane
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 114 (T).
Culd thow not wair [H. warre] ink, thy tratlingis to tel?
1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 446.
All the powers he has, he will ware them on thy defence
1581-1623 James VI Poems II 143/85.
I uill not miss To uaire for you this hand & suorde of myne
1637 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 460.
To hauld his haill guidis horss nolt and scheipe within the byres and stables … and to vare his haill guidding summer and vinter within the said toune
reflex. a1400 Leg. S. xxviii 53.
Hyre sa wisly can scho ware With almus, fasting, & prayere That [etc.]
a1570-86 Dunb. in Maitl. F. 186/78.
The hors … Than with the souter to the deuill And thair he warit [OUP rewardit] him weill
1579 Inverness Rec. I 271.
Quhow culd he bettir wair him self nor on him that hes heritage to tyne
absol. c1475 Wall. viii 198.
Tyne nocht thir men … I sall pas to get yow power mar; Thir are our gud thus lychtly for to war

2. To spend, disburse (money, profit, revenue, etc.) ((ap)on, for, in, to something or someone), to incur (expenditure).pres. 1447 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V ii 722 (6 Oct.).
That naman of this burgh tak othir mennys monay in this fredome to waar vnder payne of x lib.
1457 Ayr B. Ct. 9 May.
Thai haf ordanit that vnfre folk that ar confekkit thai sal be put to the lugis and al othiris that ar fre & infekkit sal nowthir ware na enter on the gate sids & sal be put out to the lugis gif thai hafe na liffing
1527 Wigtown B. Ct. 185b.
x povndis of his that he ordanyt hyme to vare to his avyne profet
1656 Brechin Test. VI 12a.
The principall sowme of ten thousand merkes Scotts … I be the said contract … am obliest to varre and bestowe on sufficient weill holden landis
(b) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 133/12.
I tuik fra my lord thesaurair Ane soume of money for to wair
1539 Glasgow Prot. IV 120.
The said procuratouris fyscallis sall caus … the said vicar … wair the said sowme for the weyll of the howsis
1539 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 6 May.
The assys delyveris that the theasuarer sall vayr the four pounds he gat fra Thomas Syntclar on play coittis
1541 Sc. Hist. Rev. VI 157.
I sall waire the samin [money] vpoun wyne and sic vther necessaire thingis
1551 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson 9b.
The said Thomas … sall … wair and lay vpoun land … the sowme of ane thousand merkis
a1585 Maitl. Q. 1/4.
On claythis thai wair monye a croun All for newfangilnes of geir
1622 Edinb. Test. LI 198b.
I … ordanes him to wair tuentie fyve merkis … vpone my funeralles & buriall
1641 Acts V 420/1.
The expensis they shall waire in the said persut
(c) 1550 Reg. Privy C. I 104.
The proclamatioun maid in France to wair the sowsis, and in speciale, to wear the clippit sowsis
1687 Dunlop P. III 35.
I resolve to wear litle mony in goods
p.t. a1500 Colk. Sow i 8.
Thus the money he ward The first penny of the thre For a girle gaif he The secund [etc.]
1590 Culross I 131.
That vi s. viii d. money bestowit and warat thereupon will mak the samyne to be als sufficient as the rest
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 252.
As to the gentlemen, earls, lords, and barons … they had rather lose their souls ane hundred times or they wared ane halfpennie upon the Kirk
c1600 Dundee Shipping P. 67.
I … warrit 15 lib. 15 s. quhilk was in Inglis monnay 37 s. 6 d.
(b) 1595 Cal. Sc. P. XII 41.
1607 Melvill 734.
He had the commissioun to put the britherin to the horne, and accordingly waireit expensses
p.p. c1475 Wall. ix 1016.
Eduuard on thé has waryt ewill gret wage
1497 Halyb. 104.
I haff of his to war mar than is varit, 4 li. to the quhilk I sall lay 4 li. g. quhen God sendis tym of varyn
1531 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 11 July.
All the laif of the comon gude to be warit on the wynning of a coilpot on Gladsmwr
1548 Cal. Sc. P. I 144.
1578 Reg. Privy S. VII 258/1.
Maister Williame Lundyn … hes … jeopard his body, warit, expendit and bestowit his substance in the common cause
1629 Old Ross-shire I 331.
Sax thousand markis [gap] thairefter waret [gap] upon land in heretage or wadset
absol. 1552 Glasgow Test. 82.
In primis waryt in expensis for fraucht [etc.] … estimat to xxx li. … Item waryt be Margarete Currour spous to the said Martyne … towart the expensis of the hous … estimat to x li.
(b) 1494 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 67.
The browsteris ȝeild … to be exponit and wairit vpoun the … wellis … be the maisters of the wark lymmit thairto
1550 Reg. Privy C. I 103.
The said mony … suld be employid and wairid upoun sic marchandice and pennyworthis as is within the realme
1552 Old Dundee II 126.
The whilk soum to be expendit and wairit upon the reparation and bigging of the queir of the paroch kirk
1590–1 Edinb. B. Rec. V 34.
The sowme of ten pund be to wayret … upoun clothing to the relict of Capitane Barrie
1593 Stirling Merch. Guild 3.
vj lib. vairit and debursit be him in edefeing of the loft in the kirk
1596 Dalr. II 245/19.
That money efter spendet othirwyse and wairet in otheris vses
1622-6 Bisset II 255/11, 13.
Ane hundreth crownis for to be waired upoun bettir apperrelling and reparatioun of ane schip and outtredding of hir, and the samin is bestowed and wairred syne upoun hir
16… M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. I 229.
1000 merks wes gotten waired, and the other 3000 lay dry till Martinmas
(c) 1687 Dunlop P. 35.
I have allready upon on thing and another weared much

b. absol.To spend, pay out, incur expenditure. c1580 Waus Corr. 222.
Adverteis vs with this beirair quhat we sall do heirin; for … it vareis to vs to get witnes thairout
1598 Cal. Sc. P. XIII 221.
[He … has ever] stayit [his own men … from the aid of Tyrone] where throw he behuiffit to vair [on his own, being stayed from their other profit]
1598–9 Glasgow B. Rec. I 191.
Thomas Pettigrew … to caus enter to the leiding of stanes to the calsye … and sa far as he wairis and deburses to allow the same to him in his comptis
1673 Rothesay B. Rec. 249.
The towne hes so muche to do so that they cannot warr upone the building of the herberie as formerlie
1684 Brodie Diary 480.
I heard mor of the poor croced condition of my daughter, Katharin. They are straitnd to ware upon her in her present condition
1692 Conv. Burghs IV 662.
The … chopkeepers … doe not vair and buy to the … value of the said sowme

c. Const. out. 1589–1600 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 76a.
All that I haue laft her [sc. my wife] is vi honderis and 4 scor pound and lok quhat scho wares out
1633 Misc. Spald. C. III 79.
That he haid uplifted the soume of fiftie merkis, given up restand to him … and that he haid nocht warit out the samen againe upone annuelrent
1652 Peebles B. Rec. II 6.
The expenssis depursit and to be depursit and waireit out … for reparatioun of the chaippell
1672 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. II 632.
The expenses wared out in deducing and leading his apprising
1677 Cullen B. Rec. 2 (12 Nov.).
The dewtie off quhilk he has debursed or warred out upon the upholding
1680 Inverness Rec. II 283.
Whatever soumes of money … beis waired out and bestowed … to the saids bridge its building … shall be … cleerlie made out be the saids James Stewart his comnpt book
1693 Acts Sederunt ii 205.
All expences to be waired out by tutors and curators … who have not made inventaries conform to the said act, that they will allow no expences
1696 Cramond Kirk S. IV 23 Oct.
The Session recommends it to their thesaurer to pay what exspences hath been wared out already on the lame souldier

3. To expend, lay down, sacrifice (one's own or another's life, blood, wealth, etc.) for, on a cause, in a struggle, etc. Also reflex. c1460 Consail Vys Man 410.
Tak na debait with full na stryve, That fore a word wyll ware his lyve
c1475 Wall. xi 255.
Was this all your desyr, To wayr a Scot thus lychtly into wayn?
1518 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale 210.
[He would] pas apon the Liddisdale men misdoaris, and put and keip thaim furth of the cuntre for gud reule and pece of the kings liegis … or ellis to ware his live tharon
1531 Bell. Boece II 37.
Sum of thir men, sworne to the effect foresaid, sal wair thair livis on him
1535 Stewart 31504.
Tha maid ane vow for no perrell to spair Baith land and lyfe in that querrell to wair
1547 Reg. Privy C. I 74.
He will defend this realme and liberte thairof and wair his life thairupon
1565 Reg. Privy C. I 366.
He will nocht spair to wair himself, his freindis and haill force, in the persute of thair majesteis rebellis
1566 Anal. Scot. I 103.
Your Maiestie sall have proof of me in that point … be being the first to uair my blind against thaeme
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 503.
Rather or ony hurt had come to the religione, I wald have bene content to have vared [Bann. Memor. 323, waired] my lyfe, landis, and gudis in defence of it
1596 Dalr. II 66/10.
The Scotis ar sa humane, gentle, and benigne to quhom thay ar with in ludgeng … al the blude of thair body wil thay ware in thair defence
1618 Crim. Trials III 444.
He had affirmet … that ‘gif he gat nocht his intent befoir the justice, that he sould wair his mother sone vpone him also!’
1661–5 Sel. Biog. II 78.
Ye will be ready to say that ye will be content to ware your person and estate in the cause
1673 Justiciary Ct. Rec. II 148.
He said he should have his life for the many affronts and injurys he had done him tho he should ware two of his best sons in the quarrell
reflex. a1578 Pitsc. II 153/22.
Wald they wair tham selffis quho was gentillmen vpoun the men of weir and souldeouris of France

4. To expend, use up (breath, thoughts, words, etc.). Also const. out.(1) a1500 Henr. Fab. 159.
Of this mater to speik, I wair bot wind, Thairfore I ceis and will na forther say
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 66/68.
Unquyt I do no thing nor sane, Nor wairis a luvis thocht in vane
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 450.
Venus … wairit hir luif euill on him I declair
15.. Dum Wyf 92.
The minest wyff that euer tuik lyff Will warie sum wordis and start hir
15.. Bk. Dean Lismore 77.
Wemen wairris thair virgeinite On catyve creaturis
1604-31 Craig ii 125.
I haue weard my warbling verse in vaine
1609 Garden Garden 74.
I … will … all the words I wairt in vain bewray
1634 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 100.
Now ware your whole love upon Him; He alone is a suitable object for … all the affections of your soul
1638 Johnston Diary I 342.
Schal the Lord tak sutch pains to work a work of wonder for our wealfaire, and we wil not so mutch as to waire our thoughts upon it
a1681 Cargill Lecture and Sermon 4.
O bless him that he is wairing a reproof upon you
1685 Hay Fleming Six Saints I 65.
There has been many a wasted prayer waired on him [sc. Charles II]
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 39.
They wauchtit at the wicht wyne and waris out wourdis; And syn thai spak more spedelie and sparit no matiris

b. To expend (one's efforts, labours, etc.) (for, in, on, to (a person or action)). 1533 Bell. Livy I 119/13.
He thirllit al the pepill of the toun to ware thare laubouris on the samyn
1569 Waus Corr. 70.
I beleif … ye will wair your travell in that jornay with gud will
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 32/12.
Nane as ȝit hes thair laubour warit
a1578 Pitsc. I 38/3.
I detistit in all tymes bygaine seditioun and weiris my haill laubouris and deliegence to eschew the samin efter my power
1635 Dickson Wr. 32.
He claims to him who cares for clay, because He [sc. God] has waired such work on him, to frame him out of the clay
1638 Henderson Serm. 395.
Ye are bound to ware charges and pains for preservation of His worship
1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 33.
If aw the rest were right repair'd, I trow our labour ware well wair'd

c. To exhaust oneself through expenditure of effort. 1576 Bann. Trans. 484.
My lord, we are warrit in your default; ye mak no trawell

5. To spend, pass (a period of time, one's life, destiny, etc.) (for, in, to an activity, upon a matter, etc.). a1500 Henr. Fab. 153.
Weill wer that man ouer all vther, that mocht All his lyfe dayis in perfite studie wair [Makc. wayr, Bann. war] To get science
a1500 Henr. Orph. 156.
Welcome woddis wyld … My wikit werd in wildernes to wair [Asl. MS II, waire]
1564 Reg. Privy S. V i 489/2.
Maister James Quhyte hes bestowit the yeiris of his aige bigane to the studie of gude lettiris, and is myndit to wair the rest of his liffe thairto
a1568 Scott xxii 5.
My tyme I wair Alhaill in ȝour scherwyce
1601 Mackie Denmilne MSS 33.
I will leave all advancement in the warld to cum and war my lyff att ȝour majesties feitt
1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 48.
This will take a larger time to declare than now is meet to ware upon it
1606 Irving Dumbartonsh. II 300.
David Watson … having warrit a gret pairt of his youth in letters and vertew sua that … he is abill to use the chairge of ane notar-publick
1604-31 Craig v 24.
God graunt my voyage bee not waird in waste

6. p.p.With better, evill, ill, war, wele in the above senses. a. Of circumstances, etc.: Well, etc. bestowed or deserved, justified. Also proverb. b. Of money, resources: Well, ill, etc. spent or used. Also proverb. c. Of time: Well or profitably spent. d. Of effort: Well, ill expended. e. Of a person's life: Honourably sacrificed.Cf. Wared ppl. adj.a. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 212/13.
Be I ane lord and not lord lyk, Than every pelour and purspyk Sayis, Land war bettir warit [M. better set] on me
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 330.
Geue thay Godds wourd hes weill declaird, I saye thare leueings ar weill waird
1583 Sempill Warning viii.
Quhat sleuthfull foull is he that takis na cair Bot spairs his fa quhan he may be ovirtane It is veill vaird he mvrn
15… Misc. Spald. C. II 193.
Be ane gud servand … and be nocht varyand and at your cummyng wyll God ye and all yowrys sall thynk it weyll waryt
1638 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 161.
It were well waired he were hanged
a1661 Rutherford Cry from the Dead (1765) 10.
Christ rueth nothing what he has done for you, for he thinks it all well war'd
1650 Maxwell Mem. I 352.
The pleugh brak, and shee sayd it was weel waired
1673 Justiciary Ct. Rec. II 147.
It being most ordinary for men to say, even where they have no accession at all, ‘I am glad such a man is fell’d,' ‘it’s well wared' or, ‘he is justly killed’
1685-8 Renwick Serm. 231.
Ye shall think all your losses and tossings well wared
1697 Renfrewshire Witches 152.
This is well waird on you, because you would not put it away when I desired
proverb. a1605 Montg. Flyt. 259 (T).
The kuif is weill wairit that twa home bringis
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 503.
It is weill warit that wasters want geir
a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1706) 275.
It is well wairt they have sorrow, that buys it with their silver
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1695.
Well waird the sw that under them self pisses
b. 1535 Stewart 14038.
Euerie lad syne haif ȝe maid a lord Ȝour riches thus is waistit and euill waird
1545 Corr. M. Lorraine 134.
Your artalȝery puldir and gunnaris salbe wele warit
proverb. a1585 Polwart Flyt. 717 (T).
Na mervell that ill wyn ill wairit be
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 243.
Better wnwon nor ill waird
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 485.
Evill win and war waired
c. a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 30/79.
Think weill warit the tyme thow hes done spend … Sen it is brocht now to sa gud ane end
1600-1610 Melvill 68.
I haiff bein ready to giff my lyff whar it was nocht halff sa weill wared, at the pleasour of my God
d. 1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 418.
What pains would ye ware on a Christian life? And it is all well wared if thou considerest how dear it has cost
1680 Ja. Skene in Cloud of Witnesses (1720) 96 (Jam. s.v. Ill-wared).
I thought no travel ill-wared … whereby I might propagate his despised interest among you
e. 1626 Garden Worthies 128.
O weell spent paines, weell waired was your blood, Well lost your lives

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"War v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Apr 2024 <>



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