A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)
Wild fyre, -fir(e, Wyld(e) fyre, n. Also: uyld fyre. [ME and e.m.E. wilde fur (1297), wildfire (Cursor M.), wylde fyre (?a1400).] a. Lightning. b. A rash or eruptive skin disease. c. Ignis fatuus, the spontaneous combustion of gases. d. fig.Fury, raging passion.
a. Gif birnyng happynis in ony toune [etc.] … of suddande case that may nocht be forsene as wylde fyre or rattonis or foulis; 1425–6 Acts II 12/2.
From Jupiter the wild fyre down scho slang … distroyt thar schippis; Doug. i i 76.
O thou … quhilk governys … Baith goddis and men … And oft affrays with thundyr and wyldfyre [Sm. wild fir]; Doug. i v 12.
The yerd mot oppin … and suelly thame … the uyld fyre that brynt Chore and his fallouis … usurpand aganis Moyses … mot … consume thaim; 1525 St. A. Formulare I 270.
b. It perfytlie cuiris (being drunkin) the exteriour scabbis, wyldefyre, darteris & vther filthines of the skyn; Skeyne Descr. Well Sig. A 4.
The wandevill, the wildfyre, the womeit, the weis; Montg. Flyt. 312 (T).
c. In some coals which naturally are full of oil, … there is a certain fire, which is as a meteor, and I judge, that from its resemblance to ignis fatuus, which the vulgar term wildfire, it hath the same name … sometimes seen in little holes of the coal-wall; Sinclair Hydrostaticks 293.
d. That the flame … is from the fire of zeal to Jesus Christ … and that all things which … may make it degenerate into carnal passion should be watched against … But 2dly … men ought to beware to put false names upon things and to call that wild-fire and fury which the Lord will own as fervour and zeal for Him and in His interest true for its kind and kindled by Himself; McWard Contendings 55.
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"Wild fyre n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Oct 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/wild_fyre>
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