Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WECHT, n.1, v.1 Also weicht (Abd. 1882 G. MacDonald Castle Warlock xxiv.), waicht (Abd. 1909 J. Tennant Jeannie Jaffray ii.), wicht (s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell Psalms lix. 11), †wight; wacht (Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes lxxx.; ‡Bwk. 1942 Wettstein), waght (Abd. 1817 J. Christie Instructions 158; Bnff. 1827 Aberdeen Star (20 July) 313), waucht (Abd. 1880 W. Robbie Glendornie iii.; Kcb. 1888 G. G. Sproat Rose o' Dalma Linn 64). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. weight. [wɛt; s.Sc. wəi()t; ‡wɑxt]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. In combs. and phr.: (1) auld wecht, see Auld, adj., 9. (19); (2) cuddy-wechts, a boy's game in which one player of one team stands against a wall, the second player bending so that his head rests against the first's stomach, while the rest of the team tail on, and the opposing team leaps on their backs (the Cuddy, q.v.), and try to achieve a collapse with their united weight (Edb. 1956); (3) doon weicht, see Doon, adj., III. 40.; (4) to find one's wecht, to hold one's own, to win respect for oneself. (4) Abd. 1882  W. Alexander My Ain Folk, 117:
Div ye think that ever the man wud a' fun's wecht amo' sic a set gin he cudna bann wi' the best o' them?

2. Physical force, impetus, as in propelling a bowl or curling-stone. Gen.Sc. Ags. 1777  Dundee Weekly Mag. (2 May) 295:
Thou hast nae mair wight on a andspake nor a attercap.
Abd. 1965  H. Diack Village on Don 28:
Jist lie aginst this stane, Burnett. Nae ower much wecht — and handle in!

3. In pl.: a pair of scales (Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc. Sc. 1830  Edb. Ev. Courant (27 Nov.):
A widow lady who had ordered a ton of coals from a dealer in town, sent them to the police weights, to be checked.

4. Fig. A large amount, or a great number of things taken collectively (Cai., Mry., Bnff., em.Sc. (a) 1973). Sc. 1879  J. Brown Letters (1909) 261:
It'll be kittle to plump, But it'll no be a wecht o' weet.
Arg. 1914  J. M. Hay Gillespie iv. iii.:
What a wecht o' hooses!
Sc. 1926  H. McDiarmid Penny Wheep 8:
A wecht o' hills Gangs wallopin' owre.

5. A heavy, oppressive atmosphere. Abd. 1929  Abd. Wkly. Journal (16 May) 6:
I think Aw'm sleepy; ther maun be a waucht on the air the nicht.

6. Fig. in phr. 'at's your wechts, that's what you deserve, it serves you right (Cai. 1967).

II. v. 1. tr. = Eng. weigh, to ascertain the weight of, to be of a certain specified weight (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh., Cai., Abd., Fif., Lth., Ayr., Wgt. 1973); fig. to ponder, evaluate, reflect on. Hence weighter, an official who weighs merchandise for assessing tolls, etc. Comb. weight-house, a weigh-house, a public office where goods are weighed. Gall. 1700  Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 26:
The Session weighting the whole affair considers that Jean Dunistoun may be lyable to mistake.
Fif. 1729  Caled. Mercury (9 Oct.):
Paying yearly Twenty Bolls weighted Meal, and 180 Merks Money Rent.
Clc. 1731  Atholl MSS.:
En Gabert for wighteng Colls on the hill.
Sc. 1736  Rec. Conv. Burghs 611:
Exorbitant exactions by porters, weighters, wine workers, cran masters, scoutmen, etc.
Sc. 1737  J. Drummond Memoirs Locheill (1842) 133:
Attacking the English without weighting the consequences.
Sc. 1743  Edb. Commiss. Test. MSS. CVII.:
Twelve silver handed knives weighting twenty seven ounce silver, twelve silver spoons weighting twenty six and ane half ounces.
Ags. 1762  J. M. Beatts Municipal Hist. Dundee (1878) 119:
All said wooll be carried to the town's weight-house and weighted there.
Abd. 1825  Aberdeen Censor 154:
A queer clump o' a roun'-about heathen, waghtin' maybe twa tons or thereby.
Lnk. 1865  J. Hamilton Poems (1870) 154:
Whan Europe's balance gangs agee, She trims the scales for wechtin'.
Wgt. 1912  A.O.W.B. Fables 48:
In wechtin' noo, he fan' it was owre licht.
Sc. 1925  Scots Mag. (Jan.) 277:
The mixtie-maxtie thrang an' splutter O' wechtin' treckle, cheese an' butter.

2. To add weight to, to increase a burden, to press down by weight; also fig. Comb. wechtin-stane, a heavy stone set or slung on a roof to keep the thatch, etc. down. Fif. 1882  S. Tytler Sc. Marriages III. 99:
I dinna want to wacht the minister, puir frail man.
Mry. 1897  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 95:
Is'bell Jott herself sat, or rather lay, in her armchair by the ingle, terribly “wechtit doon.”
Lnk. 1911  W. Wingate Poems (1919) 81:
Wi' bracken and heather weel soddit thegither, And wechtin' stanes abune.
Sc. 1926  H. McDiarmid Penny Wheep 59:
We can aye wecht the wame O' anither puir carle.

3. To lift (someone or something) in the air, as if taking the weight of. Sc. 1894  Chambers's Jnl. (3 March):
His usual custom upon entering a house, which he did without ceremony was to “wecht the wemen,” as he called it.

4. With up, in rowing: to raise one's oar, stop rowing (Kcd. 1911, Kcd. 1921 T.S.D.C.).

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"Wecht n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Dec 2018 <>



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