Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WISE, adj. Also Sc. forms wice (Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 162; Lnk. 1888 R. Young Love at Plough 25; Sh. 1892 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 85; Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 180; Mry. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 26; Sc. 1953 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 170), wyce (Sc. 1923 R. McRailt Hoolachan 7), wyss (Sc. 1808 Jam., 1835 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 227, Arg. 1917 A. W. Blue Quay-Head Tryst 218), wyse (s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell St Matthew ii. 16; Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 77), wyss (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 65), weiss, weise (Abd. 1935 M. C. Wilson Souter's Sujaistions 8), weice-, weys-. [wəis. The St. Eng. spelling is freq. used though the Sc. pronounciation is intended as in rhymes with advice, mice, nice, twice, etc. Eng. waiz is from the oblique cases.]

1. Clever, knowing, well-informed (Ork., Cai., Ags., Per. 1974). Obs. in Eng. since 16th c. Sc. 1808  Jam.:
Ye want ay to be sae wyss, you are so anxious to know everything.
Slk. 1820  Hogg Tales (1874) 188:
Thae ministers, they will aye pretend to be wicer nor ither fouk.
Sh. 1891  J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 76:
Ta redd oot kin ye mann be wice.
Fif. 1896  D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 292:
Ane o' they by-ordinar wice fowk that come frae the North-side to learn hiz Fifers hoo t' draw wir breath.

2. In one's right mind, sane, rational, compos mentis (Sc. 1808 Jam., 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 54; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 275; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Ork., Cai., Ags., Per. 1974), freq. in neg. phr. no wise, off one's head, insane. Also no wise eneuch, id. (ne.Sc. 1974). For phr. wise and warld-like, see Warld, 2.(1). Fif. 1704  P.S.A.S. LVI. 59:
She thought Mr Logan was not wise when he was speaking against the witches.
Sc. 1758  Session Papers, Petition G. Lawrie (1 March) 10:
She tore her Cloaths; and she the Deponent judged she was not very wise.
Abd. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XVI. 365 note:
The country people then said I was not wise enough.
Ags. 1825  Jam.:
That's like a no-wyss body.
Ags. 1840  G. Webster Ingliston xxxv.:
I wish he binna feay, and, as sure as death, I turned feared, for I thoucht he wasna ower wise.
Per. 1897  C. M. Stuart Sandy Scott's Bible Class 33:
His reason comes back til him, and he's as wyss as the lave.
Uls. 1931  Northern Whig ( 11 Dec.) 13:
He's no half wice.
Kcd. 1933  L. G. Gibbon Cloud Howe 223:
A queer-like loon, not right in the head, folk that were wice weren't near so polite.
Bwk. 1937  A. Hepple Heydays 208:
I've been chased all over the town as a lunatic mysel' and I'm as weiss a woman as I dare say ye are yourself.

3. Skilled in magic, possessing powers of witchcraft. Gen. in combs. wise wife, wise woman, a witch, sorceress (Sc. 1808 Jam., wyss-wife; Arg. 1936 L. McInnes S. Kintyre 16, wice woman; Ork. 1974). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial. Bnff. 1787  W. Taylor Poems 92:
Maukin skippit aff in fun. To a sma' cot wharein did won, A wife ca'd wise.
Wgt. 1878  “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 99:
They sent for Bella Lynn, the wise-woman, to come and see what should be done.
Edb. 1897  W. Beatty Secretar xlviii.:
Ye needna gang to a wise-wife to come at that.
Sh. 1932  J. M. E. Saxby Trad. Lore 175:
A good “wise-woman” could counteract suffering by “rinnin' da hert.”

4. Sc. combs. and derivs.: ( 1) wyssheid, wisdom. Obs. in Eng. in 15th c. Arch.; (2) wis(e)like, wice-, wyce-, -le(i)k(e), adj., (i) prudent, sensible, reasonable Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 275; Sh., n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1974). Also used adv.; (ii) seemly, respectable, proper, decent, decorous (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai., m.Sc. 1974), well-mannered (Fif. 1950). Also adv.; (iii) comely, of good appearance, handsome (Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 275; Cai., Kcd., e.Lth. 1974) of persons or things; (iv) suitable, fitting, appropriate (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (3) wice-lookin, handsome, good-looking, becoming (I.Sc., Cai., Ags., Per. 1974); ¶(4) wyss-redde, a counseller, one who gives good advice. Arch. Cf. Rede, v.1, n.; (5) wise-saying, a proverb (Sh. . 1974); (6) wice-spoken, wise, sensible in speech (I.Sc., Ags., Per. 1974); (7) wisock, a wise man, a sage. See -Ock, suff. (1) Sc. 1879  P. H. Waddell Isaiah 1:
Anent the wyssheid o' the wyss intil this our time.
Sc. 1913  H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ i. iv. 9:
This is grit wyssheid, no tae be ramstam in ackin'.
(2) (i) Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xiv.:
It wad hae been lang or my Leddy Margaret wad hae fund out sic a wise-like doctrine in the Bible!
Sc. 1825  Wilson Noctes Amb. ( 1855) I. 11:
A mair natural and wise-like catastrophe.
Sc. 1851  G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 72:
'Twere wiserlike than drink.
Knr. 1886  H. Haliburton Horace 84:
A buirdly, business, wice-like chiel.
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 24:
Weice-leike, hei hed eis-sul weel inshaird.
Edb. 1931  E. Albert Herrin' Jennie iii. iv.:
He's no wise-like. He michtna ken ye.
wm.Sc. 1949  Scots Mag. (May) 133:
Yon young Mickey took it canny that time onywey. Rale wiselike, he was.
Kcd. 1971  W. Christie Paucae Micae 11:
Ye'll live mair wise-like, Andra, man, if ye'll yersel but hain.
(ii) Per. 1815  A. Porteous Crieff (1912) 347:
A very wiselike tea. I was deputed to make it.
Ayr. 1823  Galt Entail xxv.:
Tak tent that the lad gangs over wiselike to Kilmarkeckle, in order to see Miss Betty anent the wedding.
Sc. 1834  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 60:
“How were you dressed, James?” “Wiser-like than you in your ordinar.”
Hdg. 1848  A. Somerville Autobiog. 167:
Hoot aye, they're decent young men, dinna fear. They're weys-like young lads.
Lnk. 1885  F. Gordon Pyotshaw 39:
Ay, ye're ay muckle aboot it, if ye'd dee wise like I'd hae some peety for ye.
Dmf. 1895  Scots Mag. (April) 391:
Did a bride want anything to go off wis-like?
Ags. 1899  Barrie W. in Thrums vii.:
There's no one 'at's better behaved at a burial, being particularly wise-like in's blacks.
Sc. 1947  Scots Mag. (May) 124:
Frustrated in their hopes of seeing something wise-like — say a model yacht!
Ags. 1959  People's Jnl. (9 May):
Mind yer mainners and speak up when ye're spoken to, and answer wyse-like.
(iii) Ags. 1845  P. Livingston Poems 68:
And if a wise-like chiel' you see You'll no forget to tell us.
Edb. 1872  J. Smith Jenny Blair 67:
A' lookin' sae clean, hale, an' wiselike in their Aberdeen winceys.
Ayr. 1890  J. Service Notandums 24:
Gie me a guid square gutsy hoose, wi' a wysse-like but and a ben.
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 24:
Hei's mairreet a weice-leike lass.
Sc. 1947  Scots Mag. (June) 176:
The slope below the inn had been transformed into an expanse of wiselike rig-and-fur [after a ploughing match].
Cai. 1961  “Castlegreen” Tatties an' Herreen' 8:
An' so we get 'e Kaitness fowk, Fine wice-lek men an' weemen.
(iv) Sc. 1820  The Smugglers I. i.:
Thomson pressed them with all the hearty frankness of a sailor; and honest Enaes said, it really did him good to see a man tak' a wise-like morning-piece.
Ayr. 1895  H. Ochiltree Redburn vi.:
If I get a wiselike siller for her I'll let her gang, but no onless.
wm.Sc. 1917  H. Foulis Jimmy Swan 63:
There's surely a more wise-like train than that, Mr. Macaskill?
(3) Sc. 1838  Chambers's Jnl. (29 Dec.) 389:
He was by far the wysest-looking man in the set.
Lnk. a.1870  W. Miller Willie Winkie (Ford 1902) 60:
Our son wal'd a wise-lookin hizzie.
Dmf. 1920  J. L. Waugh Heroes 70:
A big, wice-lookin' falla he was.
(4) Sc. 1879  P. H. Waddell Isaiah ix. 6:
The Ferlie, the Wyss-redde, sal e'en be his name.
(5) Edb. 1916  T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's ii. 6:
To ken for yer ainsel a wyse-sayin, An' to grup what may be the ettlin o't.
(6) Abd. 1865  G. MacDonald Alec Forbes lxxix.:
Ye're a wice-spoken lass and a bonnie.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr. Duguid 102:
She's a bit braw takin' lass yon, and a wise-spoken thing forbye.
(7) Rnf. 1835  D. Webster Rhymes 130:
He was passive to priests, he was partial to kings, Tho' counted a wisock in a ither things.
Wgt. 1912  A.O.W.B. Fables 42:
Ae day the wisock tuik his gate, Intill a wud to meditate.

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"Wise adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Apr 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/wise_adj>

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