Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WORTH, v. Also ¶wirth: Pa.t. ¶wort. Pa.p. weak word, oord, wort. To come to be, become, befall, betide; with til: to grow to, turn into. Obs. exc. arch. in Eng. Cld. 1818  Scots Mag. (Oct.) 329:
Brichter it grew, While it wot [sic] till a flude o' day.
Slk. 1818  Hogg B. of Bodsbeck iii.:
I was considering what could be wort of a' the sheep.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man (1972) vii.:
I wonder what can be word o' thae dirty herd callants.
Slk. 1830  Hogg Baron St. Gio (1874) 446:
Ye'll mind your eldest brother weel eneugh. Did ye ever ken what oord o' him?

In phrs. 1. wae or weel worth, may ill or good betide. Arch. See Wae, n., 2. (1)(ix); 2. wirt o' reduced from wae wirt o(n), used imprecatively, = Eng. ‘devil a . . ., not a damned . . .' 1. Sc. 1711  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 12:
Wae worth Death, our Sport's a' lost, Since Maggy's dead.
Sc. 1736  Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 74:
Well worth a' good takens.
Per. 1816  J. Duff Poems 111:
Wae-wirth that whingin' whig, profession.
Sc. 1870  A. Hislop Proverbs 313:
Weel worth a' that gars the plough draw. Anglice, Good luck to everything by which we earn money.
Abd. 1925  Greig & Keith Last Leaves 5:
Wae worth the han's that brak the ban's That I had on his lady's arms.
2. Ork. 1911  Old-Lore Misc. IV. iv. 186:
Yea, wirt o' tha bit a skitter broltie hid was dere!

[O.Sc. worde, pa.p., 1629, weill worth, c.1480, O.E. weorðan, to become.]

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"Worth v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jul 2019 <>



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