Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WANCHANCY, adj. Also -cie (Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 214; Bwk. 1801 “Bwk. Sandie” Poems 26; Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 68; w.Lth. 1890 A. M. Bisset Spring Blossoms 17), -sie, ¶-chauncie, ¶-chancey (Fif. 1846 W. Tennant Muckomachy 62), and misprint -chchancie (Inv. 1865 J. Horne Poems 101); -shancy, -shansi; wunchancy (Watson), ¶winchancie (Sc. 1905 E.D.D.). Unlucky, inauspicious, ill-omened, ill-fated; dangerous, unreliable, treacherous, unsafe to meddle with, of persons and things (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., -shansi, Ayr. 1923 Wilson D. Burns 193; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 31, wanchancy, 32, wun-, obsol.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., ‡Cai. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial. See Chancy, Unchancy, Wan-. Adv. wanchancy-like, in an unsafe manner. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 143:
A mutchkin of linseed I'd i' the yerd fling, For a' the wanchansie beginning o't.
Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 123:
My travellers are fley'd to deid Wi' creels wanchancy, heap'd wi' bread.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Puir Mailie viii.:
Wae worth that man wha first did shape That vile, wanchancie thing — a raep!
Kcb. 1806  J. Train Poet. Reveries 17:
That whirlwind upon a road, Did some wanchansie thing forebode.
Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
He was wanchancie aneugh to abuse Lapraik's doctrine as weel as the man.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxiv.:
By some wanchancie dispensation o' Providence, my head had come in violent contact wi' the ice.
Sc. 1887  Stevenson Merry Men ii.:
It's an unco life to be a sailor — a cauld, wanchancy life.
Cai. 1909  D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 8:
'E creeter geed 'em a wanshancy glower.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 12:
A'd lippent on o that wanchancy motor.
Sc. 1928  J. C. Horne Lan'wart Loon 14:
Noo he'd lint his houchs an' banes Wanchancy-like on shiftin' stanes.

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"Wanchancy adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Apr 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/wanchancy>

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