Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WHID, n.1, v.1 Also whud, hwid (Jak.). For freq. forms see Whidder. [ʍɪd]

I. n. 1. A squall, gust of wind (I.Sc. 1974). Only in deriv. adj. whiddy, used of a wind that changes direction (Ork. 1825 Jam., Ork. 1974).

2. (1) A rapid, noiseless movement, a quick darting motion, a gambol, spurt (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff., Rxb. c.1930), often used of small animals, esp. the hare. Phr. to play whid, to frisk, dart about, of hares. Hence ¶whiddie, a hypocoristic name for a hare. Ayr. 1785  Burns To W. Simpson xii.:
Jinkin hares, in amorous whids, Their loves enjoy.
m.Lth. 1787  W. Taylor Poems 91:
Whiddie wi' her cockit lugs.
Rnf. 1813  G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 112:
The twa gaed bye like shankies bail, Wi' stelthfu' whud.
Dmf. 1820  Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 662:
Ae hare played whid, and anither played whid.
e.Lth. 1885  S. Mucklebackit Rhymes 37:
Oh, tak' a whid to Scotland bonnie Some canny morn.

(2) A slight bodily movement or gesture characteristic of a person (Sh. 1974).

3. In phrs. in a whid, wi' a whid, in a moment, trice (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Sc. 1719  Ramsay Works (S.T.S.) I. 125:
Wi' a Whid, She'll rin red-wood.
Slg. 1788  R. Galloway Poems 96:
He leut a blow at Jonny's eye, That rais'd it, in a whid, Right blue that day.

4. A sound blow (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Lnk. 1974).

5. A whim, fad, fantastic notion, freak (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); a trait, peculiarity of temper (I.Sc. 1974); a pique, sudden unreasonable grudge against a person (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Hence adjs. whiddy, of the mind, unsteady, unstable (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.), whiddet, freakish, whimsical (Jak., hwidet, Angus). Ork. 1929  Marw.:
He had queer whids in him — that chap.

6. An unusual or bizarre occurrence. Nonce. Sc. 1959  A Sang at Least 44:
Aiblins a whid, yet Nature's treasures.

II. v. 1. intr. Of or like wind: to sweep in gusts (I.Sc. 1974). Sc. 1818  Scotland Compared 11:
[Nature] wha wi' an angry scoul fu' quickly whuds Owre Caledonia, clad in lourin cluds.

2. To move quickly and noiselessly, esp. in a jerky or zig-zag fashion, freq. of a hare; to scud, dart (Sc. 1808 Jam., whud; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 473); to whisk, scamper, run (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 693, whud). Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 44:
A Pensy Ant, right trig and clean, Came ae Day whiding o'er the Green.
Sc. 1772  Weekly Mag. (30 Jan.) 140:
The gentleman can beat up all kinds of game; whirling thro' the air, or whidding up and down upon the ground.
Ayr. 1790  Burns Elegy Capt. Henderson vi.:
Ye maukins whiddin thro' the glade.
Peb. 1805  J. Nicol Poems II. 1:
An' whuddin hares, 'mang brairdit corn, At ilka sound are startin.
Sc. 1816  Scott Black Dwarf iii.:
Yon other light that's gaun whidding back and forrit through amang the windows.
Gall. 1832  J. Denniston Craignilder 61:
Fast o'er the muir the mauking whids.
Per. a.1843  J. Stewart Sketches (1857) 105:
Place Egypt's pyramids On yonder muirs whaur poussie whids.
s.Sc. 1843  W. Scrope Salmon Fishing 202:
Twae or three rowangatherers whidden about.
Abd. 1868  W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 56:
The erchins whiddit hyne awa'.
wm.Sc. 1923  Gsw. Univ. Mag. (25 Jan.):
She'll leave ye fient a curdie bit An' then gae whidden fleetly.
Sc. 1935  W. Soutar Poems in Sc. 11:
The years whud by like flauchts o' fire That licht us owre a brae.

3. (1) To turn the head or body quickly in different directions (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1974). Hence ppl.adj. whiddet, “addicted to sudden, unlooked for jerky movements of the body” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), hwidet, 1914 Angus Gl.); affected in one's gait or movements (Sh. 1974).

(2) To take odd notions. behave capriciously, in deriv. form whiddy (Ork. 1974).

4. tr. To thrash, beat. Only in vbl.n. whidding, a trouncing (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

III. adv. Nimbly, quickly, speedily. Peb. 1793  R. Brown Comic Poems (1817) 126:
And, whid, frae Beggar-ha', baith yap, The twa pert prick-the-lice.

[O.Sc. quhyd, a squall, gust of wind, 1590, prob. O.N. hviða, id., also a fit (cf. I. 5.), related to O.E. hwiða, a breeze; quhid, to strike, 1656, poss. mainly imit.]

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"Whid n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Oct 2018 <>



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