A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Wair, War(e, n. Also: waire, waier, vair, wayr, vayr, warr, weare. [e.m.E. ware (1579), OE war.] a. Ware, seaweed, esp. used as manure. Also wrak and wair, see Wra(i)k n.1 6 b, Se-ware n. and Waith n. b for examples. Also, once, pl. Also transf. (a) Scho … pischit fyf quhalis in the firth That cropyn war in hir count for girth Welterand amang the waire; Crying of Play 80.
That na persone … sall … tayk away … nodyr wark wattill wair noist wring nor ne wdyr manyr of thing; 1509 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I 253.
Skelleis and fomy cragis thai assay, Routand and rarand, and may nocht empayr, Bot geif thai shed fra his sydis the wayr; Doug. vii ix 104 (Sm.).
[They] tuik away his wair without leive or payment, as thay war wont to pay for to him yeirlie; 1519 Rec. Earld. Orkney 92.
That no wayr be mydenit bot put to the horsis and karye the samyn to the feld and lay the samyn on the land of the tovne; 1552 Banff Ann. I 30.
He quha is infeft therewith … may stop and make impediment to all vther persones … to gather wair for mucking and guding of their landes; Skene Verb. S. s.v. Ware.
Berneray beg … ane … ile … infinite for wair on every schoir of the same; Monro W. Isles (1961) 81.
The land is sa puir for lack off vair and gudinge that it can nott be abell to pay the dewtie … impossit vpon it; 1627 Orkney Rentals iii 77.
These neighbouring gentlemen having been in use to gather wair for gooding their land; 1699 Fountainhall Decis. II 73.
(b) That na induillar … cary any war furht of the hevin … fre Satterday … vill Mounday; 1568 Crail B. Ct. 23 Nov.
The said John delattit James Smert … and uthers as bearing war upon the Sabbothe day; 1608 Kinghorn Kirk S. 14.
The minister … to collect and transfert muck and war for gudding his glebe; 1650 Pittenweem Ann. 66.
They did run upon others … who were gathering ware and drave them from their work; 1663 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 386.
The prejudice … the said brughe had susteined … be the seasmen and fishers under the hill who gaders warr not on fie to themselffes … [and] sells the samen; 1679 Cullen B. Rec. 16 (11 July).
pl. Suffir that the palmys of our arys Hyrsyl on the crag almaist, ilk rowth, and waris; Doug. v iv 10.
transf. Wair; Bann. MS 113a/9 (see Wra(i)k n. 6 b).

b. specif.As an adjunct of property, in lists of rights and privileges concomitant with the granting of land. Omnes & singulas terras nostras ville de Kildon cum wrak waeth waier cum molendis [etc.]; 1462 Reg. Dunferm. 354.
Tenendas et habendas omnes … terras … cum wrak waith et wair; 1478 Reg. Episc. Morav. 233.
Cum mettagiis, ancoragiis, le wrak et ware; 1491 Reg. Great S. 429/1.
Cum passagio in et a mari pro alge et lie ware ab eodem asportatione; 1539 Reg. Great S. 440/2.
Cum furca fossa … wraik, wair, et waith; 1560 Reg. Privy S. V i 183/2.
Cum privilegio et libertate scindendi lucrandi transportandi et avehendi lie wair a mari ad aliquam partem seu aliquas partes terrarum suprascriptarum; 1609 Hunter Fam. P. 39.
(a) With … pit and gallowis, with wrek, waith, wair; 1541 Frasers of Philorth 243.
With privilege of forest courts, and wraik, wert, wair, and venison; 1591 McKay Kilmarnock 301.
With furk, fork, sok, sak, thole, thame, vert, vair, wraik, vennysone [etc.]; 1632 Lanark B. Rec. 327.
Ware … imports … that he who is infeft therein may stop others within and without the sea mark to gather and carrie away ware; Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 110.
[Together with] wrack, waith, wair, … vetch [etc.]; 1697 Dundee Chart. 119.
(b) Oliver Lord Protector [gap in text] great Admiralls of Scotland and the Provest &c [gap] of Taine … infeft and seasit in [gap] territorie shoirs [gap] skalpes within the sea mark wrak and weare; c1660 Old Ross-shire I 229.

c. To pas to the vayr, to engage in the gathering of seaweed. At na personis pas to the vayr wythin this toun befor vi houris in the morning; 1556 Crail B. Ct. 15.

d. attrib.With fork (Fork n. 1), a fork used in gathering seaweed, and gait (Gate n.1 1), a track by which seaweed was transported from the beach. Ware sea, ? = Se-ware n. Cf. war sea (SND Ware n.1). Four wair forkis, … twa corne forkis; 1563 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson 14.
That the whole wair gaitis within the boundis of Cocburnspath sall be mendit at directioun & be ordour of the birlaw; 1656 Cockburnspath Baron Ct. 16 Feb.
Being att the ware sea, he stood vp on the axe-trie to stoope downe the ware; 1652 Lamont Diary 51.

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"Wair n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/wair_n>

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