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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

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.

[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 21 Jul 2024 <>



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