Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WASTE, n., adj., v. Also waist (Bte. 1730 Rothesay T. C. Rec. (1935) II. 688; Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 18); wast (Sc. a.1714 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 492, Bte. 1760 Rothesay T.C. Rec. (1935) II. 833), west (Bte. 1766 Ib. II. 908); wyste (Per. 1896 I. MacLaren Kate Carnegie 244, Abd. 1923 R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert i., Ags. 1959 G. Michie Glen Anthol. 14), weyst (Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 108; Abd. 1926 Trans. Bch. Field Club XIII. 39), weist (Ags. 1957–69 Forfar Dispatch (20 June, 4 Dec.)). Sc. forms and usages. [west; ‡ne.Sc., Ags. wəist]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Derivs.: (1) wastage, -adge, wastege, a piece of waste ground; a deserted or ruined place, a ruin, a desolation (Ayr. 1825 Jam., -ege); (2) wast(e)rie, -y, -ray, waistery, (i) wastefulness, extravagance (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; m.Sc. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial.; (ii) a waste of (something); (iii) what is wasted, refuse, waste matter (Cld. 1825 Jam.); (3) wastrife, wasteriff, (i) adj., wasteful, extravagant, profligate (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ne., m. and s.Sc. 1973). Deriv. wastrifeness. wastefulness; (ii) n., (a) id. (ne.Sc., Ags. 1973); (b) a wasteful person, a spendthrift. (1) Bte. 1726–32  Rothesay T.C. Rec. (1935) II. 698, 737:
Lands fallen in to the town as wastadges and others. . . . A triangular piece of ground about which ther is an old wastadge of a dyke.
Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize II. xxxi.:
Carswell's family has all gone to drift, and his house become a wastage.
Sc. 1881  Mem. Geo. Thomson 125:
A row of houses on either side, — the houses not quite attached to each other, but having a wastage between.
(2) (i) Ayr. 1786  Burns Twa Dogs 64–5:
Wi' sauce, ragouts, and such like trashtrie, That's little short o' downright wastrie.
Edb. 1791  J. Learmont Poems 179:
The waefu chaps about your house Who wade 'mang wast'ry an' abuse.
Sc. 1849  M. Oliphant M. Maitland xxiii.:
There was want among them oftentimes, idleset and wastry being near friends.
Sc. 1893  Stevenson Catriona xxviii.:
My disposition has always been opposed to wastery.
Ags. 1914  I. Bell Country Clash 125:
It wad be terrible wastery to spend sae muckle on a goon.
Edb. 1920  A. C. Leighton Tibbie's Yarns 128:
Buttered toast wad be twa kitchens, and fair wastray.
Arg. 1952  N. Mitchison Lobsters on the Agenda viii.:
There's nothing ever gained by wastry.
(ii) Ayr. 1821  Galt Annals ii.:
The tea was going like the chaff, the brandy like well-water, and the wastrie of all things was terrible.
Ags. 1822  A. Balfour Farmers' Three Daughters II. 78:
It's naething but downright waistery o' time an' siller.
Abd. 1863  G. MacDonald D. Elginbrod ix.:
It's an awfu' wastry o' time.
(iii) m.Sc. 1927  J. Buchan Witch Wood x.:
It's for us to pit a plew intill't and mak' a fire o' the wastry.
(3) (i) Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel v.:
Do not slit the quill up sae high, it's a wastrife course in your trade.
Sc. 1873  Routledge's Young Gentl. Mag. (May) 365:
Master Jacob was so wasteriff with his goods, that he would certainly come to beggary some day.
m.Sc. 1883  J. Kennedy Poems (1920) 141:
Worn at last wi' wastrife war.
Lnk. 1919  G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 40:
Ca' canny, Lord, wi' oor puir wastrife bairn, Whase halflin days were draigled sair wi' shame.
Abd. 1955  W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vii.:
Sic wastrifeness as A saa amo the servans o' the Castel.
(ii) (a) Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian xxviii.:
Besides the wastrife, it was lang or she could walk sae comfortably with the shoes as without them.
(b) Ags. 1898  A. H. Rea Divot Dyke 63:
Misfortune coup the wastrif's gait.

2. A consumption, a decline. Now only dial. in Eng. Cf. Eng. wasting, id. Sc. 1894  L. Keith Lisbeth vii.:
Your father's family going off one after the other in a waste.

3. A lump of dung, excrement. Ayr. 1790  A. Tait Poems 230:
The froth ariseth from the bell, Like a horse waist.

4. = Waster, n.1, 3. Mry. 1897  C. Rampini Hist. Mry. 333:
A “spale” or “waste” on a burning candle indicates an approaching death.

II. adj. 1. Of buildings: ruined, or, in a weaker sense, unoccupied, empty. Obs. in Eng. Arg. 1700  Arg. Justiciary Records (Stair Soc.) I. 187:
Brought the samen cow to a waste house in Killmun.
Sc. 1712  Hist. MSS. Comm. Report (Portland MSS.) X. 235:
These were relieved by a fresh company, masked, who carried him to a wast house in a wood where they kept him all night.
Sc. 1736  J. Dunbar Smegmatalogia 2:
Take to an empty or waste House, the green Twigs.
Ags. 1794  W. Anderson Piper o Peebles 11:
Before to Banquet they retreat, To some waste house, to sup in state.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. iii.:
He's nae gentleman wad grudge twa gangrel puir bodies the shelter o' a waste house.

2. Profitless, wasted (I.Sc. 1973). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial. since 16th c. Sh. 1901  T. P. Ollason Mareel 67:
Da boatmen didna mak' a waste vaige.

III. v. 1. As in Eng. Phr. to waste one's wind, to waste one's breath, to argue or plead in vain (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; ne.Sc. 1973). Also in Eng. dial. Deriv. waster, see sep. art.

2. tr. (1) To spoil by ill-usage or misuse, e.g. to damage tools, to dirty one's clothes (Cai., em.Sc. (a), Gsw. 1973). Dmf. 1917  :
Dinna waste yer claes.

(2) To spoil or pamper a child or domestic pet (m.Sc. 1973). Slg. 1944 ,
Ye're wastin' the wean. That dug's fair wastit.

[O.Sc. waistrie, a.1570, wastage, waste ground, 1665.]

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"Waste n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <>



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