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

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

Wallawa(y, Wellaway, Weil(l) away, interj., n. Also: wallowa(y, -ouway, walaway, valaway, welaway, welloway, welauay, weill-awa, weilawa, wailaway, waile-away. [ME and e.m.E. weilewei (c1200), wa la wa, welawo (both Layamon), weilaway (1297), wailawai (a1250), walawai (Cursor M.), welaweye (Manning), weillaway (Lydgate), OE wá lá wá, weᵹ lá weᵹ; Wa adv. and interj.]

A. interj.An exclamation of lamentation or sorrow.(a) 1513 Doug. ii v 44.
Ha, walloway [Sm. weill away] quhat harm and wo eneuch!
1513 Doug. iv ii 29 (Sm.).
Walaway [Ruddim. welaway]
1513 Doug. vi i 36.
Wallowa [Sm. welloway, Ruddim. weilawa]
1567 Sat. P. iii 190.
O wallaway that euer sho was borne
a1568 Bann. MS 134a/37.
Allace allace ȝe thrist me throw Now walloway is thair no help
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 1516.
Walla wa fa the holl of your ars
1746 J. Row Sermon 3.
The kirk of Scotland … has gane to Rome, and has stown awa the trash and trumpery, as the books of common prayer and cannons, wallawa
(b) a1500 Henr. Fab. 768.
Now, quod the foxe, allace and wellaway
1540 Lynd. Sat. Proclam. 258.
He gaippis, he glowris; howt, welloway
(c) 1513 Doug. iii x 110.
Quhy left thou me heir Wery and irkyt in a fremmyt land? O weilaway!
(d) 1513 Doug. ix vii 49.
Quhar sall I thé seik? O wailaway!
1604-31 Craig v 32.
Aye mee, alace! Alace, and waile-away!

B. noun. An utterance expressing sorrow or woe, an expression of lamentation. 1460 Hay Alex. 18643.
Furth thay past … With monie loud cry and valaway
1513 Doug. xi v 76.
Cryand ‘Ichane, allace and weill away!’
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5474.
Welaway
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5849.
Brocht … frome the Ryndes of Galloway, With mony wofull wallaway
1567 Sat. P. iii 4.
His sory sang was oche and wallaway
1567 Sat. P. iii 133.
Quhilk sall ȝour bairnies gar sing wallaway
a1568 Sempill in Sat. P. xlviii 72.
Blak walloway mon be ȝour sang
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 96.
Ane catt come in vpone him, and cryit ‘Wallawa!’
1597 Melvill 426.
For scham and weill-awa!
a1605 Montg. Sonn. xxxiv 8.
Welauay!
1679-81 Short Compend xxxi.
Some ran to holes, some to the hight, With many a wallaway

b. Sorrow, misery, woe; an instance of this. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 950 (L).
Ȝone catiue … A laithly ryme … Compelit hes, rehersand loud on hie Sclander, dispite, sorow and wallaway
1634 Johnston Diary I 240.
Thou bad sorrou fall thé, and another tyme wallouway fall thé

c. transf.An example (of something) that causes misery; the worst possibility. 1622 Scot Course of Conformity 112.
Kneeling … is not a gesture indifferent, nor … midway, except we take midway for wallaway himselfe, or his neerest kinsman … of all gestures kneeling … is the worst
1678 Hay Fleming Six Saints II 39.
When he left Galloway he said ‘Farewel, Galloway, for I will never come back to thee again. Thou art now Galloway, but thou wilt become a wallaway’

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"Wallawa interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Feb 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/wallaway>

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