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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.

Warldly, -ie, adj. Also: warldlye, -le, varldly, waurldly, -lie, -le, werldly, -ie, worldlie, -ly, varildly, warldy, wardely, wardly(e, -lie, -le, vardlie, uardly, -lie, wordly(e, -lie, uordly, -lie. [ME and e.m.E. wordliche (c1175), weorelldlike (Orm), worldly (c1325), wordly (Wyclif), werldly (c1400), werdly (1447), worldlye (1667), OE woruldlic, MLG wer(l)tlik, MDu. wereldlîk, ON veraldligr.] Of, pertaining to or belonging to the world and its inhabitants, freq. in contrast to the next world; earthly, mundane; temporal; human; secular. See also Wra(i)k n. 7 a (1) for further examples. b. absol.(a) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 106.
The twelf appostolis … For His luf to de thai ne rocht, Na ȝet of varldly thingis thocht, Til that He ves with thaim in lyfe
a1400 Leg. S. ii 1175.
c1420 Ratis R. 1623.
Misteris of sciens … And lordys baith, for couatice Ar blindyt … With warldly corrumppit qualytee
1456 Hay I 14/31.
With that I sall put sik thing langand warldly understanding, that resoun is that haly wrytt be mellit tharewith to verify it
1460 Hay Alex. 558.
That was ane royall warldlie sycht To se new maid sa mony royall knycht
a1500 Bernardus 4.
Sum [books] maide for law of God in document, And othir sum for varldly regiment
a1500 Bk. Chess 996.
For warldlye gud
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 15.
He exhortis thaime to fle the corruptiounn of warldly lust
1551 Hamilton Cat. 33.
Warldlie and carnal peple quhilk ar gevin allanerlie to the lufe and cure of the warld and of thair flesche
Arundel MS 250/331.
Tak away fra my thoucht all erdly and warldlie thingis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 42.
[They] … causit it [sc. Rome] … to be callit the hous of warldlie schame
1562-3 Winȝet II 82/8.
The warldlie and fleschelie myndit … knichtis of Venus court
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 444/112.
Quhane lang that thow lest on this ground For warldlie geir tak ȝe na noy
1584 Sempill in Sat. P. xlv 754.
Greid of geir, and warldly graith
1600-1610 Melvill 20.
My father resolved to keipe my eldar brother at hame … to lern him housbandrie and experience of the warldlie lyff
(b) a1400 Leg. S. ii 466.
Thu art callit, worthy to be Mychtyare throw religione Than wardly dominacione
1441 (1449–50) Reg. Great S. 70/1.
Gevand therof … to me and myne ayeris a penny of silver … alanerly gif it be askit for all wardely askyns
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 49 (Asl.).
We ar sa blunderit in wardlie besynes … We haue na thocht of hell nor hevinlynes
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 131/7.
Complane I wald, … Quhidder to God, … Or till His moder, quein of heveyne; Or unto wardlie prince heir downe
1533 Gau 26/28.
Thow ma weil trow that thay haiff vardlie power bot trow notht … that thay haiff power … to giff thé the euerlestand blis of hewine
a1538 Abell 11*a.
Wardly creacyon in the begynnyng
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 438.
1564 Stirling B. Rec. I 81.
Johne Andersone … is destitut of wardlie guidis … quhairby he mycht have ony sufficient life to put him to ane craft
1566 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 54.
1558-66 Knox II 25.
The pactions maid by wardlie men for wardlie proffeit
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in Cath. Tr. (STS) 84/21.
Na man seruing in the kirk of God inuoluis … him self vith sæcular and vardlie affairs
1591 Reg. Morton I 172.
Treulie thare sold haue na wardlie tourne stayit me frome the keiping of the said day, bot it hes plesit God to visit me with ane extreme fyfher
1619 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 90b (17 March).
James Burnett dilaitt for trawelling about his wardly bussiness on the sabbothe day
1635 Edinb. Test. LVII 191b.
As concerning my wardlie effaires
(c) a1400 Leg. S. i 557.
Disdenȝe … had he In this ȝerde langar for to be With wordly men
a1500 Lanc. 518.
Wordly honore
a1500 Colk. Sow ii 14.
Scho was nocht lyk to be A wordly wicht
c1590 Fowler I 252/6.
The glas of sin before my face Presents my eyes the schaps of uordly trust
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. xviii 6.
Too sone (alace!) … Thy pairt is acted on this wordlie stage
1650 Child Waters in Child Ballads No. 63A 18.
There's four and twenty fayre ladyes, The fairest is my wordlye make
1659 S. Ronaldshay 27.
Wordly, prophane, and wicked conference [forbidden on the Lord's day]
(d) 1490 Irland Mir. I 21/5.
The thrid is waurldlie and temporale substaunce
1490 Irland Mir. I 30/37.
The errour of thame that … said that He takis na cure of mundan and waurldly thingis
1490 Irland Mir. II 52/26.
The foly of waurldly men and women is dampnable
1490 Irland Mir. III 95/9.
God … maid the first man and first woman and ordand that be the generacioun of thame and thar barnis the waurldle pepill suld incres and multiply
(e) c1490 Irland Asl. MS 39/28.
Fasting … liftis the mynd … fra fals and werldly thingis
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 7.
Werldlie riches
(f) ?a1500 Remembr. Passion 599.
A synnar continually offendis God, and mistrowis throu inwy and concupissance of the flesche warldy geir and vthir vicis in thocht and dede
1551 Hamilton Cat. 5.
Nathing in this life apperis to warldy men mair facil
(g) 1525 St. A. Formulare I 269.
All the malysonis and uaryesonis that ever gatt uardly creature … mot lycht apoun thame
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 27/1.
This glistering uardlie glorie of kingis
(h) 1558 Knox IV 367.
Kinges, princes and worldlie rulers
1571 Sempill in Sat. P. xxviii 153.
Ȝit cuttit I away their worldly strenth
1638 Nat. Covenant in Facs. Nat. MSS III xcvii.
Wee are nor moved for any worldlie respect, but are perswaded onlie in our consciences
1665 Edinb. Test. LXXII 64b.
To the end that … I may be disburdeined of my worldlie effairs … I doe heirby mak my lattrewill
1678 Kingarth Par. Rec. 110.
That no person use ther worldly talk or busines on the Sabbath
(i) 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 128/8.
Quhat can all these uordlie respectis auayle quhen a man shall finde him self coupled uith a deuill
(j) 1610 Brechin Test. III 103a.
As concerning his varildly guidis and geir
b. 1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV 163.
As heirefter to the wardlie plainlie salbe knawin

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"Warldly adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



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