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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).

Unweildy, -ie, Onwe(i)ldy, adj. Also: unweilde, -wealdy, wnveildy, onweilde, -wyldy. [ME and e.m.E. vnweeldy (Chaucer), vnweldy (Hoccleve), vnweyldy (1549), vnwieldy (1570); Weildy adj.]

1. a. Of a person or animal: Incapable, lacking skill, chiefly through feebleness or infirmity. b. Of age: Characterised by feebleness or infirmity.a. 1533 Bell. Livy I 51/8.
This nobil prince, beleving his pepill to incres dull and vnweildy be lang eis and sleuth
(b) 1513 Doug. v xii 92.
Wail out al thame beyn waik and onweilde [Sm. vnweilde]
1513 Doug. x x 109.
Na slaw curs of thy horssys onweldy [Ruddim. onweildy] Thy cart has rendryt to thyne ennemy
b. 1513 Doug. v vii 59.
The dasyt blude … now on days, Walxis dolf and dull throw myne onweldy [Sm., Ruddim. vnweildy] age
1513 Doug. vii vii 73.
O ald dame, thy vile onweldy [Sm. wnveildy, Ruddim. vnweildy] age, Ourset with hasart hair and faynt dotage
1513 Doug. ix viii 74 (Sm.).
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 8.
Downe … fell Dame Reres, a woman verray heuie, baith be unweildie age, and massie substance

2. Difficult to control or manage. 1632 Lithgow Trav. iv 144.
This vnwealdy body [sc. of the Ottoman dominion in Persia] hauing two heads, began to decline

3. Unsubmissive, recalcitrant. 1513 Doug. xiii vi 34.
The onweldy common pepill ilkane To caus adres eftir thar faculte

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"Unweildy adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <>



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