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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.

Wil(l, v.2 Also: vill, wel. Pres. t. -(i)s. P.t., p.p. -it, -id, -ed. [ME and e.m.E. will (Layamon), wyll (1454), ME also wil (1412), p.t. wijld (Cursor M.), e.m.E. also willet p.t. (1524), OE willian, Wil(l n.] tr.

1. a. Const. simple object: To wish, desire, also with implications of intention. = Wil(l v.1 1. b. With infin. obj. Cf. Wil(l v.1 3. c. fig.Of a thing: To require, demand.a. 1515 Aberd. B. Rec. I 444.
That all burges sonnys … thoucht expedient be provest bailyeis [etc.] … and to be villit be thame [etc.]
c1475 Wall. (1570) i 8.
Our nixt nichtbouris … That oftentymis to Scottis willit [Moir, McD. wald do gud, 1594 wissit] lytill gude
a1538 Abell 83a.
He that will the principal … he willis the accessour
b. 1536–7 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 83.
The … counsall … ordanis to roupe the vacand commoun aikeris … and quha willis geve maist penny thairfor salbe hard
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 129.
I put my hand to the paper to wryte, Of ane difference that I have willit copy [F. que je voulu transcrire]
15… Misc. Spald. C. II 333.
I beleif your hienes princlie naturall neuir willit to daill mair straitlie with me nor with vtheris
c. 1610 Southesk MSS 14.
Ȝour wirth … welis me honor and luiff ȝow maire

2. To grant by means of a legal process; to will, bequeath. 1587–8 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 9 March.
The said Schir Walter … grantis & willis the said assignatione be extendit only to his awin person
1617 Colquhoun Chart. 231.
To Johne Colquhoun … he willis to be gevin fyve hundreth merkis

3. To ask, enjoin, order, command (someone) to do (something).pres. 1614 Crim. Trials III 307.
The letter … willing him, yf he wes not able to keepe the House of Birsay, to reteir him … to Caithnes
1615 Highland P. III 233.
Ane lettre to Duncane Campbell … desiring him to deale with the keepairs of the house willing thame to go away
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 14 May.
Thair come ane man to hir … willing hir to ask quhat scho waild
1625 Aberd. Council Lett. I 236.
And thairfore we will and require yow to send [etc.]
1644 11th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. vi 56.
I leiue him al my salt panis and wilis him to big mei
1676 Dunferm. Ann. 346.
Mr. Charles Wardlaw … declares he will exerces his office no longer but demitts and thair foir wills and requyrs the baillies and counsall to … proceid to ane new election
p.t. 1558-66 Knox II 297.
Heirunto consented … the baronis, and willed the reassonaris for the parte of the Quene to will hir Grace … that it wold please hir Grace to send such as sche wold appoint to hear whatsoever was proponed
1583 Colville Lett. 238.
Cambuskineth wrat me for to come to Newcastel, quer he wilid me … to advertise yow in his proseding
1597 Aberd. B. Rec. II 152.
The haill towne being convenit … consentit to the bying of the Trinitie Freris place … and willit and desyrit the prouest and baillies to [etc.]
1625 Aberd. Council Lett. I 236.
Thai thoght meitt to make the first offer thairof … and thairfore willit us to convein the commissioneris
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. I 96.
He … willed them to hinder the subscriptione of the Covenant
p.p. 1553–4 Reg. Privy S. IV 412/2.
Being willit to geve occatioun to utheris hir hienes liegis to maik policy
1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I 527.
He was willit as afore na wayis to haue intelligence or resort to the foreyne ambassadouris
1590 Lett. Jas. VI to Bruce 284.
Quhome I have willit to communicat to you my mynde and opinion in all thingis
1599 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 168.
The presbyterie hes willit that the same be haldin one Wednesday
c1637 Innes Sketches 520.
My soune … hes wilit me to plant a greit manay meie [trees]

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"Wil v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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