Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WHAN, interrog. and rel. adv. Also whaun (m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 162; Ags. 1970 Dundee Courier (10 Dec.)); whin (Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 11; Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Sketches 2); whun (Lnk. 1838 J. Morrison McIlwham Papers 10; Uls. 1879 “Robin” Hum. Readings 13, Gall. 1928 Gallov. Annual 27); arch. quhan (Sh. 1886 G. Temple Britta 34). Sc. forms of Eng. when (Sc. 1711 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 12; Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 72; Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 138; Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 36; Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe xxix.; Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 83; Sh. 1899 Shetland News (14 Oct.); Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Sh. (as interrog.) 1974). Gen. (exe. n.) Sc. For n.Sc. forms see Fan. Hence whane(v)er (Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 23; Edb. c.1796 H. MacNeill Songs (1801) 69; e.Lth. 1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 29; Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Sketches 2). [′ʍɑn, ʍən′-] Gen.Sc. usages of whanever: as soon as, at the very moment when (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 140). Also in Ir. dial. Rare and obs. in Eng. Wgt. 1707  Session Bk. Wgt. (1934) 111:
To dismiss him whenever they think it may be most edifying.
Gsw. 1715  Burgh Rec. Gsw. (B.R.S.) 534:
To take doun the said daill front whenever the magistrats shall hereafter require the samen to be done.
Sc. 1757  D. Hume Letters (Greig 1932) I. 238:
To inform the Faculty that they may choose me a Successor, whenever they think proper.
Sc. 1787  J. Beattie Scoticisms 107:
I rose whenever I heard the clock strike eight.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man (1972) xxiv.:
When-ever Master Michael Scott got a near view of the four sable equestrians.
Ayr. 1845  Ayrshire Wreath 216:
I've heard say, that he spoke a sentence o' Greek, whenever he cam into the world.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden (1922) 117:
Whenever he was able to see he flew at Sandy like a rased stot.
Ags. 1959  Dundee Courier (17 Feb.):
The Lucky Spoons will be posted to babies whenever the engraving is done.

Whan interrog., rel. adv.

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"Whan interrog., rel. adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Dec 2018 <>



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