Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WAN-, pref. Also win- (winchancie, s.v. Wanchancy, winnes, s.v. Wanuse), wun- (‡s.Sc.), ¶won- (Won-brunt). A negative or privative prefix, chiefly attached to adjs., as Wancanny, wancouth (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis), Wanearthlie, Wanliesum, Wansonsy, Wanwordy, adj.1, etc., and ns., as Wanchance, Wanfine, Wanhap, Wanjoy, Wanrest, Wanweird, etc., and corresponding to un-, in-, dis-, mis-, ill-. Esp. freq. in I. and s.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial. See sep. arts.

[O.Sc., Mid.Eng., O.E. wan-, id., in I.Sc. derived directly from Norw., O.N. van-, id. The prefix ceased to be productive in other than n.Eng. and Sc. after the Mid.Eng. period. It is identical in orig. with Wan, adj. The ‡s.Sc. form wun- becomes indistinguishable from On-, pref.2 See W, letter, 3., and Watson W.-B. 31–32. The form an of the indef. art. in D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 139, an wan ease, suggests that wan- may have been thought of occas. as merely a spelling variant of un-.]

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"Wan- prefix". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Jul 2020 <>



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