Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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UMQUHILE, adv., adj. Also -umquhyle, umquhill(e), umwhile. [′ʌmʍəil]

I. adv. Formerly. Obs. or arch. Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. lv.:
That is Henry Bertram, son of Godfrey Bertram, umquhile of Ellangowan.
wm.Sc. 1854  Laird of Logan 298:
Peter Pirnie, Esq., late manufacturer. umquhyle a bailie.
Ayr. 1890  J. Service Notandums 88:
Ye'll ken her by her dark e'ebree, Her white cheek, umquhile red.

II. adj. Former, late, erstwhile; deceased, esp. in legal terminology (Sc. 1880 Jam.), when the art. is freq. omitted. Now liter. or arch. Sc. 1714–1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 17, 188:
Of umquhile John to lie or baun . . . The Harn-pan of an umquhile Mare.
Ork. 1734  P. Ork. A.S. (1923) 65:
Jean Manson, relict of umquhill James Fea of Whitehall.
Sc. 1784  Nairne Peerage Evidence (1874) 72:
7 The goods and gear which pertained and belonged to umquhile miss Brabazone Nairne.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. iii.:
Sir Isaac Newton Knight, and umwhile master of his Majesty's Mint.
Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 189:
A little below the umquhile clachan, as the Jingler had it.
ne.Sc. 1836  J. Grant Tales of Glens 176:
“There's a wee trifle o' siller owre here”, continued the umquhile spoon maker.
Kcb. 1895  Crockett Moss-Hags lii.:
William Gordon, son of umquhile William Gordon of Earlstoun.
Arg. 1912  N. Munro Ayrshire Idylls (1935) 274:
Their umquhile shepherd for a moment made no answer.

[O.Sc. umquhile, at times, 1375, formerly, a.1400, owmquil, deceased, 1427, Mid.Eng. umwhile, sometimes, O.E. ymb(e)hwhīle, after a time.]

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"Umquhile adv., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <>



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