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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.

WHEECH, v.1, n.1 Also wheegh, wheigh, whihh, which, ¶whihe; †quhich, †quhigh (Jam.); wheek; ¶wheef- and freq. forms whihher, quhihher. [ʍiç; ʍik]

I. v. 1. intr. To move through the air, to rush, dash with a whizzing sound (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 212; n. and m.Sc. 1974); to make any quick forward movement, to walk fast (Uls. 1924 Northern Whig (2 Jan.)). Also ppl.adj. wheechin. Deriv. whihher, quhihher, to dart, as a bird in flight (Ags. 1808 Jam.). Agent n. wheecher, wheeker, anything big or outstanding of its kind, something of top quality or excellence, a thumper, stunner (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Lnk., Kcb., Dmf. 1974), a big lie, a whopper (Dmf. 1974).Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 361:
I quhihher by thaim down the stream.
n.Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. quhich:
It gaid whichin by.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 25:
There was a sough, like flann or flaw As in he whihher'd throu' the wa'.
Kcd. 1925:
She wheekit awa' afore I cud say a word.
Ags. 1948 Forfar Dispatch (8 Jan.):
The Granny on the lum-heid gaed wheekin up ee air afore it fell throwe the sky-licht ee washin-hoose.
m.Sc. 1950 B.B.C. Broadcast:
It's what I would have called a “beezer,” a “wheecher”, or a “bobby-dazzler.”
Sc. 1979 T. S. Law in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 82:
something as swythe as the wuin whan featherin
thru blawn fyne hair whan a man is staundin heech
on a sgurr whaur the sea maks siccar the weatherin
o the rock, an ongaun lik the wheechin sky
o universes caad athorte the void,
Sc. 1994 Scotsman (20 Apr) 4:
I wheech to a stop on the Kyles slipway. I am not for the Scalpay ferry today.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 18:
As the tourists wheech thro', they wad gey aften fail
Ti appreciate, caa'in it 'Sweet' Armadale.

2. tr. To remove (something) with a speedy, sweeping, forcible movement, to snatch or whisk away (Uls. 1905 E.D.D.; n. and m.Sc. 1974); in Lth. slang usage: to carry a load, esp. of coals, on one's back. Deriv. (coal-) wheecher, — wheefer, a coal-carter, coalman. See also Coal, n., 5. (26).m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 231:
Mony a backfu' o' peats I used to wheech across't when I was a bit laddie.
Edb. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 61:
I can wheigh awa' a basket or a pock.
Edb. 1876 J. Smith Archie and Bess 25:
Wheechers crying “Co-a-l-s!” in Greek.
Lth. 1930 J. Cockburn Country Love 144:
Geordie the coal wheefer.
Edb. 1955 Scotsman (2 June):
Leith traders whose customers were wheeched away to Sighthill or The Drum.
Cai. 1958 Edb. John o' Groat Liter. Soc.:
'E lassigies are real enthusiasts an' 'e yowng chiels are wheeched awey.
Edb. 1965 J. T. R. Ritchie Golden City 29:
Ye wheech the head off a yellow dandelion.
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 37:
Then we wur aw wheeched back tae Albacete fur another stint a trainin.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web iv:
I dinna recollect ae relation, stoppin mid-ben a spikk an wheekin oot a dictionar tae see gin a wird wis richt standart Scots or nae!
Gsw. 1997 Dorothy Paul Revelations of a Rejected Soprano 14:
I was a modern child and was taken up to Yorkhill Hospital for the job. Tonsils were 'wheeched out' whether it was necessary or not.
Gsw. 1999 Sunday Herald (22 Aug) 1:
Advocaat was long gone by then. On its way, too, will be Sturrock's only-wearing-it-until-we-lose goatee beard. "That's wheeched," he said. "Thank God for that."

3. tr. To beat, to whack, smack, hit (Ags., Per., Lnk., Ayr. 1974). Vbl.n. wheechin.Gall. 1888 D. McWhirter Musings 147:
Oft by fortunes, frowns an' copes, And self mischanter wheekit sairly.

II. n. 1. A soft whizzing sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 210; ne.Sc., Lth. 1974); the hissing of an adder (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 473, whihe).

2. (1) A blow delivered with a whizzing sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 210; Kcd., Ags., Lth., wm.Sc. 1974); gen. in pl.: strokes with the tawse, a belting, at school (Fif., Lth., Lnk. 1974), adj. wheeky in comb. ¶wheeky-whacky day, a day at school in which the tawse is much in use (Id.).

(2) A sudden sweeping motion, a whisk (ne.Sc. 1974), used in quot. of a quick perfunctory hair-cut.Ags. 1964 D. Phillips Hud Yer Tongue 7:
The less particular, probably also less temperate barbers, sometimes turned out youthful clients with haircuts to be dubbed as The Wheech, or Catcht-inthi-Sweeng-Doors, by waggish grown-ups.

III. adv. With a soft, whizzing sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 210).


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"Wheech v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2024 <>



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