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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Quhill-as, Quhile-as, conj. Also: quhil-, whil(l)-, vhill-; while-. [e.m.E. whyle as (1563), while as (Shakesp.). Cf. Quhillis-as.Usu. written as two words.]

1. While. = Quhil(l conj. 4.a. 1588 King Cat. App. 31b.
Quhil as I cast thir and mony vthers in mynd … Thow comes to confort me
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 105.
To eat sourrakis aboute sonne rysing, quhill as the dew wes wpone thame
1602 Colville Paraenese Ep. 17.
As your enemie to sau zizanie vithin your feild vhillas you be a sleap
c1620 Boyd Zion's Fl. 138.
God … spares while as the faults of men are young Within their heart
1640 Baillie I 249.
Some Brunists, insinuating themselves among them whileas their ministers were away
c1650 Spalding I 86.
Now whill as the counsall is at this bussines [etc.]
1659 Boharm Kirk S. 12 June.
He wished him never to thryve better upon that peace land possessed be him than he wished him to thryve whill as he did possess it

b. Without implying duration: At the time that; when. — 1622-6 Bisset I 123/9.
Bevar thairfoir that thow over thraw nocht iustice … by feir … rather ȝit for luif, quhill as for freindschipis saik thow manteines thy freind
c1650 Spalding I 84.
Bot behold whill as thay ar at the vtmost poynt of disperatioun the Lord of his gryt mercy [etc.]

2. In other senses with extra-temporal connotations.As the precise force of the conjunction is sometimes unclear, there is probably some overlapping between the following sense-divisions.

a. As long as, insofar as; if. Cf. Quhil(l conj. 5. 1570 Sat. P. xiii 1.
Quhile as with flesche and blude we go about The wondrous warkis of God for to discriue, Pans quhil we pleis we sal not find thame out
1581 Burne Disput. 28b.
Quhill as ȝe giue na credeit … And siclyk quhil as ȝe doubt [etc.] … quhat do ȝe vther bot deny God to be almichtie?
Ib. 30, etc.
Ȝe deny … the remission of synnis quhil as ȝe obstinatlie defend that the syn is neuer remouit … be grace
1588 King Cat. App. 31b. 1600-1610 Melvill 282.
Sa … sall com of this … foole whilas he intends … to stope the breathe of God's mouthe

b. Whereas; although. Cf. Quhil(l conj. 3 c. 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 92.
Thairefter ther com wind anuch in at thi duris, quhill as thair was neyn on the feild
1638 Dickson in Sel. Biog. II 19.
They sever poor simple man, and sett him alone … whileas they should … put him in the hand of ane cautioner and guyd
1638 Baillie I 169.
That while as the parliament 1597 … had granted them power to rectifie their old foundation, yet their bishop had destroyed that new rectification
1641 Ib. 361. 1642 Argyll Synod I 55.
They may have preaching Sabbathely, whillas of before they heard the word every thrid Sunday
1647 Baillie Anabaptism 98.
And to Christ they give but one nature while as all divines since His incarnation give Him two

c. Indicating result: With the consequence that. Cf. Quhil(l conj. 3 a. — a1600 A. Home in Bell. Livy II 234/17.
The hastning of thair intended laboris made thame not to tak gret cair of directing of grete vennelis and streites, quhil as they builded indifferentlie thair quhare the most emptie and voyd places did appeir
1600-1610 Melvill 529.
They rent the Kirk in tuo quhill as the maist pairt followit thame and the best stood to the Kirk hir establischit constitutioun

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"Quhill-as conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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