Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

WAE, int. Also wa(ah); wey, wie. Used as an introductory exclamation in various contexts, mostly corresponding to those of Eng. well: introducing an assertion (Sc. 1825 Jam.); of “anything that causes surprise and admiration” (Ork. 1825 Jam., I.Sc. 1866 Edm. Gl., waah). [we:, wɑ:] Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1885) II. 49:
Wa' Sawny man; wilt thou na rise the day?
Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 30:
The battle o' Drumclog! wae, I canna say ony thing anent that.
Peb. 1838  W. Welsh Poems 56, 59:
Wa dear Mary woman, how are ye? … Wa dearsake Davie, what's warang?
Ags. 1853  W. Blair Aberbrothock 3:
Ah wa! times are tirned richt roond about.
Rxb. a.1860  J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 136:
Wie, what's souls but ghosts?
Ayr. 1882  A. Guthrie Ardrossan 116:
Wae wummin, its no an ill faut that water will wash aff.
Dmf. 1912  J. Hyslop Echoes 212, 309:
Ken ye? Wey, what's tae hinder me to ken ye? … Wey, dear me, if ye gan an wisp yer cl-ogs wi't there canna be vera muckle on't left!

[O.Sc. wa, assuredly, 1676. Orig. uncertain, poss. several different words are involved, and there has been some confusion with Wa, adv., 1. But some of the forms prob. go back to Mid.Eng. we, wi, int., expressing emphasis or concern, or to O.E. , O.N. vei, alas, alack! O.Sc. wa, id., 1475.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Wae interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Dec 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down