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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Weddir, Wethir, Wathir, n.1 Also: weddire, -yr, -er, wedyr(e, -er, wed(dr-, ved(d)ir, uedder, vedthir, weider, weadder, woddir, -er, woder, wo(o)ddar, vodyr, wadder, vadder, widder, wether, -eyr, weathir, -er, weatther, wather(e, -eir, vather, wother. [ME and e.m.E. weder(e (both Layamon), wedir (Rolle), wedder (Cursor M.), weddir (c1403), wethyr (c1475), weddre (Caxton), weather (1530), OE weder, ON veðr.]

1. (The) weather, atmospheric conditions as regards heat, cold, wind, rain, etc., specif. qualified by a term indicating a particular sort of weather, in attrib. and predic. constructions. Also proverb. and pl.Some examples overlap with 4 below.attrib. 1375 Barb. iii 387.
He thocht he to Kyntyr wald ga … Till wynter wedder war away
a1400 Leg. S. xl 578.
Quhare thire twa prayand ware, The fellone weddire thare forbare
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1292 (Ch.).
In to ane coif he crap, Fra sair wedder and frostis
c1475 Wall. vii 182.
Trubbill weddyr makis schippis to droune
1513 Doug. v iii 47.
In the calm or lowyn weddir
1548–9 Corr. M. Lorraine 288.
The ewill weddyr that cowme in swc sort that, gyf we had passit fordwart, we had lossit ane greit part of our army
1549 Compl. 41/1.
God send, God send, fayr vedthir, fayr vedthir
1549 Compl. 56/27.
Fra ther operations and constellations procedis tempest, stormis, fayr veddir, foul veddir [etc.]
1550 Treas. Acc. IX 416.
Lachettis … to knet his pointis to in het wedder
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3409.
Storme, fyreflauchts, hale, raine & mekill mair Of ill wedder
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 213.
Tempest and stormie wedder
1598 Misc. Maitl. C. I 91.
Fair and sessonabill wedder for the inbringing af the ground of the fruittis thairof
(b) 1531 Bell. Boece I vi.
Quhen Priapus with stormy weid[er] oppres Raqueistit me … To rest ane quhile amid his gardingis bare
(c) 1556 Black Bk. Taymouth 126.
Variabil vodyr lityl tylt in that wontyr
1570 Leslie 93.
1570 Leslie 126.
Ane vehement storm of tempestious wooddar
(d) 1604-31 Craig ii 119.
In fairest shining sunne the fowlest wadder
1614 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 222.
Maist onseasonabill waddir
(e) 1568 Charteris Lyndesay Pref. Adhort 52.
Ȝe haif ane cloik now reddy for the rayne: For fair wether, ane vther ay at hand
1571 Cal. Sc. P. IV 52.
1607 Urie Baron Ct. 11.
(f) a1578 Pitsc. II 312/21.
Evill weathir
1678 Cleland 26.
Boasterous weather
(g) 1581 Stirling Ant. IV 130.
The foul wathir that was that day threw the quhilk nane myt travell to the kirk
1627 Orkney Rentals iii 81.
1663 Arniston Mem. 27.
I had upon my journey much ill wather and bad way
1685 Dunlop P. III 17.
The cuntry is very hot most lyek our hotest wather in Jun
16… Highland P. II 268.
He perished by snow and stormie wathere
(h) a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 241.
Saillit to Opslo, whare Queyne Anne was attending upoun fayre wother
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1091.
Fair wedder winnis the hay
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1746.
Ye bred of il weddir ye cum unsend for
pl. ?1438 Alex. ii 5016.
In middes the moneth of May, Quhen winter wedders ar away
c1400 Troy-bk. i 412, 413.
Scho couth … raise wyndis … Quhar-throw watteris and wedderis soft Wald all perwert and wedderis styth Baith ger fall rayn and haile so swith
a1500 Rauf C. 21.
In thay wickit wedderis thair wist nane to dwell
a1500 Henr. Fab. 458 (Bann.).
Wederis wan and wete
1573 Sempill in Sat. P. xxxix 345.
In winter weddiris baith in wind and rane … He raid
(b) 1535 Stewart 7383.
Syne winter come with woderis cuill and cald
predic. a1400 Leg. S. xlix 133.
The vedir is fel & il
?1438 Alex. ii 400.
The day is fare, the sone is bricht, The wedder is baith fare and licht
a1500 Rauf C. 59.
The wedder is sa schill
1532 Treas. Acc. VI 112.
Becaus the weddir wes ewill [he] rait about be Striveling
1535 Stewart 11215.
In symmer syne quhen the wadder grew warme
a1568 Sempill in Sat. P. xlviii 37.
In the walk-mill the wedder [Bann. MS widder] is ill; Thir ar nocht drying dayis
1610 Reg. Privy C. IX 31.
The seas ar to be crossed, and the wodder oftymes so uncertane and unseasounable
pl. a1500 Rauf C. 74.
Thow suld be wel-cum to pas hame with me … For the wedderis ar sa fell, that fallis on the feild

b. With indef. art. and pl.: A period or occasion of a particular sort of weather. a1500 Rauf C. 97.
Sa fell ane wedder feld I neuer
1583 Reg. Privy C. III 602.
His said cattell, for eschewing of the violence … of a stormy wether, … to withdraw … to the ley of the saidis woddes
pl. 1597 Edinb. B. Rec. V 200.
Upoun Trinity Fair evin, gif it be ane fair day, and failyeing thairof of the nixt fair wedder

2. Without qualification. a. Good or bad weather, esp. the atmospheric conditions suitable for travelling, sailing, etc.(a) ?14.. Ship Laws c. 20 (B).
And he be redy to sayle the maystyr aw … to say lordis we hafe this weddyr sum sais the weddyr is gude and sum says nay [etc.]
1464–5 Acts XII 31/1.
That alssoun as the session of the weddir askis the king mowe [etc.]
a1500 K. Hart 660.
Quha … feld nevir cauld … Quhat wedder is thairout … How suld he wit?
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 106.
The wedder hes been sua this thre wolkis … that a man mycht nocht do na thing for weit
1528 Lynd. Dreme 774.
The myd regioun of the air, Quhare no maner of perturbatioun Off wodder may ascend so hie
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7393.
The skipper speillit belyue to the top mast To spy the wedder, gif tempest did appeir
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Georgics i 27.
Tempestatumque, tempora, vices temporum (the weadder)
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 10.
Despysing all discommoditeis of the way and wedder
1574 Misc. Maitl. C. I 105.
(b) 1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Georgics ii 337.
Tenorem, course of weather
?c1591 Warrender P. (SHS) II 156.
[Even the] insenseable elements and fairnes of the wether [contributed] to his happy and blissed hamecumming
1596 Dalr. I 5/10.
Sa grett clemencie and temperance of the wathir is in Britannie, that Cæsar said [etc.]
1631 Annandale Corr. 284.
Ye … woold presently com hetheir what watheir soewir it war
1649 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 587.
Wich he wes wounderous lothe to doe, in respecte of the coldnesse of the wether

b. Good weather, weather suitable for harvesting, travelling, etc. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 1486.
Thar-to weddire had thai thane, That thai wane froyt of land & se Thru his prayere
?14.. Ship Laws c. 18 (B).
And thai lay thair schyp redy in the see [etc.] … and he hafe weddyr before hym [etc.]
1562 Dumfries B. Ct. 171a.
It cum to the parts of Scotland quhan God send word and wodder
1621–2 Mar & Kellie MSS Suppl. 113.
If the wadder doe breake, … I mynd to returne to London
a1680 Blair Autob. 62.
They had got in the most of their corns ere the weather brake

c. In collocation with serve (permit), with reference to favourable weather conditions for travelling, etc. 1540 Lynd. Sat. Proclam. 12.
Our purpos is on the sevint day of June, Gif weddir serve [etc.]
1547–8 Cal. Sc. P. I 79.
The wather serveth not well
1579 Reg. Privy C. III 204.
[That Mr. Johnne Hay … shall go abroad] wind and wedder servand [before the 1st October]
1583 Mar & Kellie MSS Suppl. 34.
Houping that his Majestie will renew my licence … addand this claus ‘wind and wedder serwand’ and that it may haif the narrative that I am derect furth of the realme in his Hienes service
1619 Breadalbane Lett. 7 Dec.
I sal remaene in Neubotill quhill the vadder sall serue
1639 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 73.
If uedder uill permitt me I intend to stop on tyde neir the Holy Eyland
1668 Rothesay B. Rec. 154.
He sall cume to this brughe win and wather serving and healthe permitting

d. Bad weather, liable to cause difficulties or do damage. c1420 Wynt. i 716, 718.
Quhen thai ly on erde to slepe Fra swne and weddyr thaim to kepe … that a fwt wpe thai streke That it fra thaim the weddyr brek
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 220.
Twa flottis that culd nocht be cariit for wedder
1555 12th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. viii 140.
Sua that thair stok in poynt of tinsell may be away led … sen thai culd nocht gudlie suffer the samin to byde forthir hasard of wodder
1590 Burel Pilgr. i 449.
The wadder wes not lyke to mend
1614 Highland P. III 171.
He went thair with greate difficulties of wadder
1616 Buchan Cl. IV 195.
The minister had no place to remain in and keep himself from injury of wedder when he cam to the kirk
1648 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII 152.
The haill hous much indamnaged, quhilk they find to be occasioned be the beatting of the weatther on the lairge flait roff thairof

3. In collocation with wind. a. Esp. with reference to bad weather or conditions unfavourable to sailing, passing into 4 below. a1400 Leg. S. xvi 220.
Nane wald herbry tham in house, Bo[t] tholyt al … In wynd & wedyre ly
a1400 Leg. S. xxi 10.
Wedyr & wynd he has in wald Fore-thi dewot til hym suld be Thai that saylis to the se
c1420 Wynt. vi 2495.
As thai ware on se sayland The wynd swa skant wes than blawand And all the weddrys in thaire fayre Wes to thare purpos all contrayre
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 150.
The seuin planetis … Quhilk hes power of all thing generabill, To reull … Wedder and wind
a1497, 15.. Gray MS i 5.
Thou may cum ane vther day Quhen wynd & wadder ar away
1596 Dalr. II 200/23.
In Edinburgh … rais sik a wind and wethir that in the toun fell mony houses
1600-1610 Melvill 287.
Let us nocht … for feir of stormie wound or wather, leave af to saw and schear the Lord's land
1610 Crim. Trials III 83.
Without … contrarietie of wind, wedder, or vther impediment
pl. c1400 Troy-bk. i 116.
Contrare wynd & wedderis wod That draf ws hydder

b. With reference to weather conditions favourable to sailing. a1400 Leg. S. xvi 745.
Vedir & wynd that wil had he, & saylit sone to his cuntre
1497 Acta Conc. II 88.
Georg sal pas with his sade schip … als haisty as wynd and wedder happinnis to serve him
1533 Boece 155b.
The schippis finding fare wynd and weddir … in the Firth of Tay arrivit
1535 Stewart 584.
The wynd wes fair, the wedder wes at will
1585 Prestwick B. Rec. 133.
That he had bene thir … awaitting vpoun schipping wind and weddir
1589 Douglas Chart. 296.
His boit … being alreddy laidnit, custumit, and biding wind and wadder to mak saill

4. In collocations or contexts where stormy conditions are implied, windy weather, tempest, gales. Also in fig. context. b. Storme (blast, bub, stres, tempest) of weddyr, also weddris blast. c1400 Troy-bk. i 206.
And throw mytht of thar goddes gret Be contrare wedder thame to thret, A likand wynd thame sett to land
c1400 Troy-bk. i 426.
Scho [sc. Medea] wald rase wedderis one thame thare … That all suld peryse hastely
c1420 Wynt. vii 3276.
In Scotland … he Arrywyd wyth a gret multitud Off schyppys … And thare be a tempest fell Off gret weddrys scharpe and snell Off fors thai behowyd to tak Land
a1500 Rauf C. 27.
Ithand wedderis of the eist draif on sa fast, It all to-blaisterit and blew that thairin baid
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 355.
Ȝe that now bene lansyng vpe the ledder Tak tent in tyme, fassinnyng ȝour fingaris faste. Quho clymith moist heych moist dynt hes of the woder And leist defence aganis the bitter blast Off fals fortune
1533 Boece 186a.
The king quhilk, convoyit be sey to the ile callit Ila, be contrare wynd and tydis was impeschit, like as be the weddir he had bene repellit
1622-6 Bisset II 243/25.
It may chance that the maister may cut the mast be force of wedder
b. ?14.. Ship Laws c. 7 (B).
Stres of wedrys cummys to thaim on seis half
1513 Doug. iv iv 65.
A bub of weddir followyt in the tayll
1513 Doug. x v 127.
The dyrk clowdis … Thai fle the weddris blast and rak of wynd
1549 Corr. M. Lorraine 313.
The kyngis schyp … wes pwt bakwart be storme off weddyr
1561–2 Reg. Privy C. I 201.
Be tempest and stormis of wodder fallin this last wynter
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. v 317.
Nimbo, a blast of weather
1574–5 Reg. Privy S. VII 5/2.
The … havin of Carraill … is be stormes of wodder … now becum in dekay
1580 Inverness Rec. I 281.
Immediatle thairefter com ane greit tempest of weddir at thair out coming of the said port
1600-1610 Melvill 262.
Storme of wather haid dryven the navie by the cost of Eingland … upon an yll of Scotland
1615–16 Ayr B. Acc. 261.
[Part of the Tolbooth stair] blawin doun be storme of weddir
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 363.
[He] … perished as he wes ryding that river in a great speat and storme of weather
1643 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII 25.
Ane shipp … haveing lowsed from the raid of Dysert be stres of wedder [etc.]

5. attrib. The weathergage, the windward, only fig. Weather glass, a thermometer or barometer. c1679 Kirkton Hist. 290.
I can never think but the contrivers of it designed to give the bishops the weathergage, the real advantage, and to give the presbyterians a false medicine
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 354.
A weather glase
1685 Glasg. Univ. Mun. III 580.
For ane weather glass to the colledge 43 li. 10 s.

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"Weddir n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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