Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WHASSACO, adv., conj., n. Also whasacco, whassico, -igo. [′ʍɑsəko, -go]

I. adv. Ostensibly, with a pretext, followed by the inf. with to. Also used as a conj., as if, on the pretence that (Ork. 1974). Ork. 1894  W. R. Mackintosh Peat-fires 156:
Going to the Hillside “whassico”, or ostensibly, to see a bit of land that was being enclosed at Farafield.
Ork. 1907  Old-Lore Misc. I. ii. 61:
Looted doon — whasacco he waas leukan for so'nting.
Ork. 1929  Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 79:
Tae tame or mak' feuls o' da lasses, whassaco tae had dem i' boona.

II. n. A pretence, insincere talk or action, a parade of excitement or emotion not deeply felt (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1974), also in reduplic. forms wheesie-whassico, wheesy-whassigo, id. (Id., 1936 Daily Express (7 Nov.)). Ork. 1915  Old-Lore Misc. VIII. i. 40:
He waas ceevelity idsel, makan a whassaco at 'e waas blide tae see dem.
Ork. 1931  in Orcadian (7 May):
'E gaed ap tae da horse wi' a snicker an' made a whasacco o' whissin i' deir lugs.

[Orig. doubtful, poss. connected with whasay s.v. Wha, 5. (7) but the formation is unclear.]

Whassaco adv., conj., n.

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"Whassaco adv., conj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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