Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WIRK, v., n. Also wurk. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. work, v. See also Wark. [wɪrk; wʌrk]

I. v. A. Forms. 1. Pr.t. wirk ( Gsw. 1807 J. Chirrey Misc. Poetry 97; Crm. 1869 H. Miller Tales 208; Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 53; Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Sketches 30; Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 196; Abd. 1936 D. Bruce Cheengefu' Wordle 23; I., n.Sc. 1974); wurk (Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 129; Bwk. 1911 P. Landreth J. Spindle 3), pseudo-Highl. form wrought from pa.p. (m.Sc. 1842 A. Rodger Stray Leaves 176). 2. Pa.t. wrocht (Rnf. a.1810 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 276; Edb. 1869 J. Smith Poems 8; Fif. 1887 S. Tytler Logie Town II. xi.; Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 2; m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 30; Ags. 1949 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 408). Gen.Sc.; wroucht (Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.; Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 17; Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Sketches 1; Uls. 1920 J. Logan Uls. in X-Rays 79; Bnff. 1925 G. Cumming A'anside Lilts 82; Lnk. 1930 Hamilton Adv. (8 Feb.) 3), wraucht (Hdg. 1905 J. Lumsden Croonings 56), wirrowcht (Ork. 1903 G. Marwick Old Roman Plough (1936) 5) and, after Eng. forms, wrought (Sc. 1770 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 111; Slg. 1804 G. Galloway Luncarty 81; Sc. 1827 Scott Tales Grandfather xxviii., 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 21, 1899 H. G. Graham Social Life II. 247–9), wirout (Ork. 1929 Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 77) [roxt, ‡wroxt; Ork., s.Sc. (w)rʌu(x)t]; and n.Sc. forms vrocht (Cai. 1890 J. Sinclair Scenes 232; Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 48; Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 48; Abd. 1962 Huntly Express (23 Feb.)), vroucht (Abd. 1879 G. MacDonald Sir Gibbie xxxiii.), vrought (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 111), †vraucht (Hdg. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 237) [‡vroxt]; wirkit (Abd. 1935 M. C. Wilson Sutor's Sujaistions 10; Sh. 1952 Robertson & Graham Sh. Grammar 35); workit; wirkid (Sh., Cai.). 3. Pa.p. wrocht (Abd. 1719 E. Bain Merchant Guilds (1887) 230; s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 96; Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 83; m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 74; Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Biggin 1; Kcd. 1929 J. B. Philip Weelum o' the Manse 26; Ags. 1970 Dundee Courier (10 Dec.)), wroucht (s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell St Matthew xx. 12; e.Lth. 1893 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 368), wroacht (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 13), wrought (Mry. 1758 Session Papers, Petition Sir W. Dunbar (24 Feb.) 2; Dmb. 1794 D. Ure Agric. Dmb. 74–5; Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley ix.; Fif. 1830 Perthshire Adv. (9 Sept.); Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 66; Ags. 1883 J. Kennedy Poems (1920) 125; Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Frae the Heather 138; Uls. 1953 Traynor); wirrowt (Ork. 1911 Old-Lore Misc. IV. Iv. 185); n.Sc. vrocht (Mry. 1865. W. H. Tester Poems 94; Bnff. 1887 G. G. Green Gordonhaven 63; Abd. 1923 J. R. Imray Village Roupie 23; Bnff. 1958 Banffshire Jnl. (1 April)), vrought (Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 5) [‡vroxt]; double form wrochtit; workit (m.Lth. 1922 “Restalrig” Sheep's Heid 57; m.Sc. 1974); wirkid (Sh., Cai.). The form wrocht is still in current use in Sc., though obs. in Eng. exc. in specialised senses or arch. For examples see quots. below, = employed, set to work, handled, manipulated, composed, ornamented, wove(n), mined, etc. 2. Sc. 1770  Scots Mag. (Feb.) 111:
She wrought with her hands for her bread.
Sc. 1828  Scott Journal (1894) II. 144, 202:
I wrought three leaves, however, and the story goes on. . . . Violent rheumatic headache all day. Wrought, however.
Per. 1857  D. Gorrie Life of a Ploughboy 31:
Archie Black, who wrought the “second pair.”
Rnf. 1872  J. Young Lochlomond 52:
I' thae days when matters sma' wrocht big affrays.
Abd. 1877  Greeness School Log-Book MS. (19 June):
Wrought sums from Black board and explained Subtraction.
Sc. 1893  Stevenson Catriona xv.:
There never was the Solan made that wroucht as that Solan wroucht.
Edb. 1900  E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 12:
We wrought awa' an' we fought awa' for five years.
m.Sc. 1917  J. Buchan Poems 67:
I wrocht my squad to mend the track.
Abd. 1943  W. S. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 7:
The twa that vrocht the Braidsea Maid, And kent the marks for ilka rade.
3. Sc. 1782  J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 161:
A wrought wistcoat. A worked waistcoat.
Sc. 1828  Scott Tales Grandfather xxvii.:
The mines of the country are now wrought only for lead.
m.Lth. 1842  Children in Mines Report (2) 443:
No women work in the Duke's colliery, women are wrought only where lads will not work.
Ags. 1869  R. Leighton Poems 326:
Do this for a week, and the cure will be wrocht.
Bnff. 1871  Banffshire Jnl. (4 July):
My father's grippit wi' his fairm Tho' hard an' sair we a' hae vrocht.
Wgt. 1878  “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 278:
I hae wrocht mony a wab tae ye.
m.Lth. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 74:
Archie was auld by me, but a hale carle yit; he had no' been sair wrocht.
Dmf. 1904  J. Gillespie Humours 52:
Their son, on whose education much money . . . had been spent, had mistaken his profession, and there was no hope of him succeeding as a preacher. The one assented regretfully to the pronouncement of the other in these terms, “We had better hae wrocht oor Peter!”
Slg. 1932  W. D. Cocker Poems 86:
I was ne'er sae hard-wrocht in my life.
Rnf. 1947  :
Fair wrochtit — overworked, having too much to do.

B. Usages. 1. As in Eng. (1) Sc. combs., derivs. and phrs.: (i) to wirk (one's) wark, to do one's own or another's work, to perform what one is employed to do (I., ne.Sc. 1974); †(ii) to work to oneself, to go to stool, ease nature (Lth. 1825 Jam.); (iii) wirker, a worker (I.Sc. 1974); (iv) workingsome, fit for work, able-bodied, only in phr. meat hale and wirkinsome; (v) wrocht, (a) of cream: whipped, beaten; (b) of cheese: having the curd pressed and broken (Abd. 1959). (i) Rnf. 1720  W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1878) II. 182:
He is so disabled that [he] heath not wrought his ordinary work since.
Per. 1857  D. Gorrie Life of Ploughboy 43:
The farmer looks for a man that can “work his wark.”
Lnk. 1865  J. Hamilton Poems 35:
She wrocht her wark an' never lintit.
Edb. 1881  J. Smith Jenny Blair 75:
I wrocht their wark wi' redoubled vigour.
Ork. 1904  Dennison Sketches 1:
I keepid kye that summer, and wroucht halflin' wark the year efter.
Abd. 1932  Abd. Book-Lover VII. iii. 70:
But fat's wantit here, my bonnie man, Is a wife tae wirk the wark!
Abd. 1973  Huntly Express (25 May):
I cam' here tae wirk yer wark, an' nae tae fecht yer battles.
(iii) Abd. 1916  G. Abel Wylins 12:
Whaur a' thrives to eident wirkers.
(iv) wm.Sc. 1835  Laird of Logan 91:
Your a' abune the blankets, I hope, meat hale, and workingsome.
Abd. 1924  M. Argo Janet's Choice 22:
Oh, she's meat-hale an' wirkin' some.
(v) (a) Bnff. c.1890  Gregor MSS.:
When “clyack” is taken, there is a feast, and at the feast there is always a particular dish called “vrocht milk” . . . whisked with the “froh-stick.”
(b) Dmb. 1794  D. Ure Agric. Dmb. 74–5:
It is called wrought when the curds are repeatedly broken with the hand in separating the whey. And when they become solid they are carefully broken with the hand and cut small with a knife; then they are squeezed in linen cloths and rubbed small with the hands till they become dry and pulverised and ready for the chesset.

(2) with advs. and preps.: (i) work about, to come to pass, happen; (ii) work at, to manhandle, in quot. euphem. of torture; (iii) work for, to behave so as to deserve, to earn (punishment or retribution) (Sh., Cai., Abd., Per. 1974); (iv) work (oneself) intil, to acquire gradually by working; (v) work on, of time: to approach, advance to (a certain hour) (Sc. 1905 E.D.D.); (iv) wirk wi, to employ, use (Sh., Cai., Abd., Per. 1974); to have to do with in gen. (i) w.Sc. 1898  J. M. Henderson Our Jeames 22:
It wrought about that just as we were passing the door o' the inn, the landlord himsel' happened to step out.
(ii) Sc. 1752  Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) III. 124:
They tiyed him to a ston and worked at him there.
(iii) Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr. Duguid 21:
A sarkfu' o' sair banes for the sins of ilka meenont of the day would be nae mair than we hae wrocht for.
Sc. 1913  H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ ii. x. 3:
Yer paikin' was weel wrocht for.
Abd. 1940  C. Gavin Hostile Shore xv.:
The ablach only got what he vrocht for.
(iv) Gall. a.1897  R. Ringan's Plewman Cracks 14:
I wrocht mysel' in the forenichts intil a hantle o' lair.
(vi) Sh. 1885  Shetland News (26 Dec.):
As sune as Baabie got up, shu took an' clootit Seemun's lug, an' bade him notice wha he wrought wi' neist time.
Sh. 1958  New Shetlander No. 46. 18:
Kirsie wirks wi dis soda in her bannocks, bit I'm never wroucht wi him in drink afore.
Abd. 1969  :
I've wrocht plenty wi pottie but never wi mastic.

2. tr. To earn (wages) by working. Rxb. 1700  Stitchill Ct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 144:
Ane harvest fie wrought be the said Jennett Mill.

3. tr. To look after, tend, herd (animals) (Ags., Per., m.Lth. 1974). Slk. 1947  W. Addison Ettrick Verse 19:
A herd was workin the inby sheep.

4. tr. Of sheep: to scrape away snow with the feet to get at the herbage below. Rnf. 1859  Trans. Highl. Soc. 178, 180:
Filled up with snow to such a depth as to render it a matter of impossibility for them [sheep] to “work” it (as their scraping the snow is called) . . . They moved with difficulty and “wrought” (scraped) very languidly.

5. tr. To purge, act as a laxative medicine on (Sc. 1905 E.D.D.; I., ne.Sc., Per. 1974). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial.

6. tr. To sprain (Gall. 1825 Jam.). Comb. wrought-bane, a sprained joint (MacTaggart; Abd. 1974, -been). Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 487:
How often reapers have the shackle-bane wrought in the harrest time.

7. tr. To affect physically or mentally, gen. for the worse; to trouble, vex, annoy, deal severely with. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T,.S.) 36:
[A fever] which wrought him sae that . . . He was full ready for his hindmost dress.
Abd. 1790  A. Shirrefs Poems 91:
I sud be blyth that baith the lads were wrought.
Sc. 1825  Jam.:
I'll wurk him for that yet.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 218:
Onybody she took an ill will at, — dod! she wrocht them dreedfully.
Ags. 1921  V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 30:
The Elder's twisted mou' That wrocht him a' the journey through! [in trying to conceal his mirth].

8. tr. To work through, study, learn from (a text-book). Abd. 1892  Innes Review VII. i. 19:
The books we used were first “Proverbs” — a sma' book of 20 or 30 pages without brods. They wrought her first o' a'.

9. intr. To act in a particular way, to go about a business, to conduct oneself. Obs. in Eng. Lnk. 1919  G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 55:
Some said that Paitrick meddled wi' a dram, But be this sae he maun hae wrocht wi' care.
Abd. 1974  :
He wrocht (awa) gey cannie for a file till he saw his chance.

II. n. Used for the reg. n. form Wark in comb. deid-wirk, the death-agony. See also Death, n., II. 12. and Deid, n. Crm. 1834  H. Miller Scenes (1857) 471:
The deid wirk i' her bonny hause Was wirkin' a' that day an' nicht.

[O.Sc. wirk, to work, from 1375, wurk, 1581, North. Mid.Eng. wirk(k), O.E. wyrcan, the -k being due partly to O.N. yrkja, partly to work, n.]

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"Wirk v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/wirk>

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