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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.

(Willfullnes,) Wilfulnes, n. Also: vilfulnes, villfullnes, wollfullnes. [ME and e.m.E. willfulnesse (c1200), wilfulnesse (Chaucer), wylfulnesse (Trevisa), wilfulnes (1412-20), willfullness (1583).] Self-will, obstinacy, foolhardiness. Also personified.(a) 1375 Barb. xviii 176.
On this wis war thai noble men For wilfulnes all lesyt then And that wes syne and gret pite For had thar owtrageous bounte Bene led with wyt and with mesur [etc.]
c1400 Troy-bk. i 89.
It mytht happyn … Thruth wike counsele & wilfulnes To led ws in-to syk distres
c1420 Ratis R. 1420.
Jugment beis al forȝet And vilfulnes and mysknawleg Ay wodly weildand in a rage [etc.]
1456 Hay I 134/36.
The will and the purpos in mysdedis makis the man foule or clene … in all sik materis I mak … distinctionis betuix nede, fors, and wilfulnes
c1475 Wall. vi 490.
Nocht chyftaynlik it was, Throw wilfulnes, in sic perell to pas
a1508 Want of Wyse Men 49 (Bann.).
Now wrang hes warrane, and law is bot wilfulnes
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 20/131.
I me confes … Off parsiall juging and perverst wilfulnes
1536 Linlithgow B. Ct. 1 Dec.
Gyf it happynnis me to faill thairin … be vilfulnes or necligens
1560 Inverness Rec. I 48.
Because it is of necligence and nocht of vilfulnes
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4633.
Ȝour awin licht wilfulnes Hes causit me on this maner ȝow dres For ȝe haue done sic wickit turnis [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. II 314/14.
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. 6b.
Steir ye with stedfastes, Lwik yow leife wilfulnes
(b) a1578 Pitsc. II 29/1.
The poore so oppressit all be wollfullnes of the cardinall quhilk wald haue no peace keipit witht Ingland
personified a1500 K. Hart 27.
Freschnes Newgot Waistgude and Wilfulnes Delyuernes, Fulehardenes [marg. ȝouthheid and quhat names he [hes]]

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"Willfullnes n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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