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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

WAN, num.adj., pron., n.1 Also wen (Ork.). Sc. phonetic representation of Eng. one, esp. freq. in wm.Sc. (Wgt. 1802 G. Fraser Lowland Lore (1880) 70; Edb. 1863 J. Brown Marjorie Fleming 9; Sh. 1886 G. Temple Britta ii.; e.Lth. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 257; Arg. 1911 H. Foulis Para Handy 4; Ork. 1912 Old-Lore Misc. V. ii. 69; Uls. 1928 M. Mulcaghey Ballymulcaghey 60; Edb. 1931 E. Albert Herrin' Jennie iii. v.; Sc. 1953 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 189). For other Sc. forms and usages see Ane, Een, pron., One, Yin[wɑn]

Sc. forms of Eng. one.Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 6:
" ... cheust tae shaw hoo muckle they think o' me, an' I wid mairry the wen whar made the best chob o't id."
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 79:
yin ... In broad Glaswegian the word 'of' is often pronounced in such a way that it sounds like a 'y' tacked on to the end of the previous word: 'Wanny they hings', 'Somey thame's no use.'
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 4:
You think wan thing, Ah think anither.
You cry him a saint, Ah cry him a blether.
m.Sc. 1987 Andrew Cowan in Iain Crichton Smith Scottish Short Stories 1987 99:
'There's nae difference,' she said. 'Ye can use either wan. Disnae matter.'
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 2:
Listen bawjaws, you fling wan mer bit a oarange peel an ah'll squeeze you tae the pips squeak.
Gsw. 1993 Margaret Sinclair Soor Plooms and Candy Balls 1:
Mrs, needin' any messages, that was wan o' ma tricks.
Wean, could ye get me fags, ah forgot ah hidnae any, ...
m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 6:
An then yir mither'll turn oan me wi wan ae her stupit bloody sermons!
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 9:
Suin hame agin fae Downing Street,
determin't, each wan
ti fight on, - tho' they winna beat
the 'Corporate Plan'.

Sc. usages:

1. Constrasted for stylistic effect with ane.Fif. 1894 D. S. Meldrum Margrédel v.:
Penny anes and twopenny wans.” The elegance of wans, as compared to anes, was to the mind of the town only a due recognition of the might of wealth.
Ayr. 1951:
Frae ane tae wan. From one end to the other, round in a circle, back to square one.
Gsw. 1964 Saltire No. 11. 39:
That yin wi' the black funnel? That's wan o' the Anchor Line.

2. Derivs.: (1) wanny, n., a single “go”, one shot, gulp, mouthful, etc.; (2) wanner, Sc. form of Eng. oner.(1)Gsw. 1958 C. Hanley Dancing in the Streets 176:
I was facing a new pint, and I could never drink great quantities of liquid in a gulp. . . . ‘I canny drink a pint in a wanny,' I said.
(2)Gsw. 1985 Michael MunroThe Patter 74:
wanner or wanny Local variant of 'oner' i.e. one go: 'He knocked his pint back in a wanner.' To wanner someone is to hit him a single hard blow: 'He widny shut up so Ah just wannered him.'
Gsw. 1996 Scotsman 18 Sep 17:
"... can you tell me what kind of receptacle a 'wanner' is?" The receptionist said she had no idea and asked him where he'd heard the word. The doctor said he had asked the patient how she took her medication: "Och, ah just swallay it doon in a wanner, son."
m.Sc. 2001 Guardian 5 May 11:
"Naw. That's fine fur a porpoise, but fur a seal what's required is a twa-centimetre groove cut roond the neck wi a freshly honed halibut gaff, an the hail skin comes aff in a wanner, flippers an aa.'"
Sc. 2001 Evening Times 27 Jun 44:
The fact is we like winter football. We like getting all wrapped up in the jumper your granny gave you for Christmas, trying to heat your fingers up with the tin foil from your pie, holding your nose and knocking back the Bovril in a wanner.

[O.Sc. has wan, 1642.]

Wan num. adj., pron., n.1

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"Wan num. adj., pron., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



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