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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Wattirgang, Wat(t)ergang(e, n. Also: wattir geang, vattergang, waltir-, walter-, vatergang, waitergainge. [ME and 18th c. Eng. watergang (?a1200); Gang n. 1 a.]

1. A watercourse. a. The course taken by a flow of water, a stream, etc. b. A channel leading water to a mill; a mill-stream. = Lade n.3 c. A conduit or channel to lead away an unwanted or hazardous flow of water.a. 1508 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 127.
The burn to run … in the water gang next the dyke
1398-1625 Aberd. B. Rec. I 163.
They … hed syndrie tymes schewit the fysche to cum to thair vattir of Done in the auld vatter gang
1539 Aberd. B. Rec. I 163.
The balȝes chargit thair officiaris to pas to the said vatter gang incontinent, and fesche the saidis personis that thai find thairon
1563 Echt-Forbes Chart. 98.
Discendand the said stripe and wattergang … to [etc.]
1601 Reg. Great S. 391/2.
Passand south up the auld rin or watergang of the Teillburne
1626 Argyll Sas. II 67.
With the fishing of Lochawe from Rownasynart to the incoming of the watergang of Etive
1630 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III 487.
Williame Scot … hes … stopped … the passage of the said watergang quhairthrow the said loche has restangned upon the … toun of Kilconquher and hes alreadie overflowin and destroyed some … houses within the toun
1636 Peebles Gleanings 165.
The caull at the heid thairof to be removit that the burne may rin in the auld watergang
1656 Rothesay B. Rec. 263.
1656 Misc. Spald. C. V 231.
Som of the saids tennentis demmis the water … and convoiyes the same out aff the right watergang
b. 1433–4 Acts II 22/2.
Of wattir gangis that is to say of milne leidis
1480 Acta Conc. I 71/2.
The stoppin of a watergang & mylne damme of the said Malcolmis myll
1497 Acta Conc. II 77.
Watter gang
1521 Dundee B. Ct. I 34 (14 June).
The said myll … & all hir geir with wattergangis & dammys
1556–7 Reg. Privy S. V i 10/1.
Besyde the mylnis of the said burgh within the ald watter of Eden and wattergang of the mylne-laid of the samin
1558 Bk. Old Edinb. C. XXIII 102.
[The complainers have … been in possession of the said mill … and … ] of ane dam … athort the burn … with ane clowse thairintill quhairthrow thair discendit fra the said principall burn ane small watter quhilk ran thairfra be ane small leid and wattergang
c1575 Balfour Pract. 493.
Gif ony man be infeft … in ane miln, and in possessioun of ane water-gang thairto
1589 Prot. Bk. A. Gibson 68b.
The wattergang or myll laid of the said commoun mylnis
1611 Reg. Privy C. IX 235.
[He, having resolved to build a mill] first causit cast the lead and wattergang for the said mylne
1636 Glasgow Chart. II 595. 1641 Acts V (1817) 573/1.
Waiter gainge
1645 Irvine Mun. II 60.
Wattir geang
1658 Aberd. Council Lett. III 328.
They keep clos the dam … and opins the clousses in the water gang
1658 Retours I Inq. Spec. Ayr (497).
The corne milne of Drummillinge, with the priviledge of laid and wattergang
1675 Crown Chart. (Reg. H.) 24 Jan.
The myln of Pardovein myln landis … watter gange and all thair pertinentis
1648 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. III 228.
That Garmilton should make a stone pend in the park-dyke, sufficient to let the water go out, … And find that the water-gang, from the park-dyke to Barnes his mill, ought to continue in the old channel
1699 Retours I Inq. Spec. Linlithgow (290).
Molendino de Carridin nuncupato Lochmilne cum … aquaeductu sive passagio lie water gang lacus burgi de Linlithgow
c. 1538–9 Edinb. Guild Ct. 13 Feb.
Swa that the standand wattir … may haif passage throw the condite of the wattergang throw the said Johnis … tenement
1599 Paisley B. Rec. 227.
That the said Mr. Andro Knox hes done wrang in the biging of the foirsaid spout … and thairfoir the said bailye … decerns the said spout and waltirgang to be reformit
1608 Irving Dumbartonsh. II 199.
[The bailies and council determine … ]to cast anew the old bishop's wattergang for carrying off the water of Levin
1607 Reg. Privy C. VII 358.
To draw levallis, watergangis, sinkis, conductis, shaftis, and uthiris necessaris for the same [sc. mines]
1658 Rothesay B. Rec. 20.
The saids magistrats … have agriet withe Robert M'Gilchrist tailleour for uphalding the whole vater-gangis betuixt the kirk and calssay heid for the space of fyve yeires

2. A means of crossing water; a ferry, specif. across the Forth at Queensferry. 1557–85 Reg. Dunferm. App. iii 490.
De decima sexta parte terrarum de Muirhall et de decima sexta parte lie walter gang super aqua de Forthe
1636 Retours I Inq. Spec. Linlithgow (132).
Terrarum de Murehall alias South Quenisferrie … equali dimidietate trigesimae secundae partis aquae passagii lie water gange, super aqua de Forth

3. In legal use: A burden on property giving the right to conveyance of water. 1681 Stair Inst. ii vii § 12.
A watergang is a servitude, of conveying water through the servient ground for the use of the dominant

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"Wattirgang n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Feb 2023 <>



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