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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).

We(i)ld, Wa(u)ld, v. Also: welde, velde, weyld(e, weeld, vald, wail(d, weill, wale, waill. [ME and e.m.E. welde(n (c1175), wealde(n (c1200), wolden (c1260), wald, weild (both Cursor M.), weelde (Wyclif), weyld (1579), weld (Spenser), welld (1647), OE wealdan, waldan, wildan, wældan, ON valda.]

1. tr.To rule, govern (a land, people); to command (warriors); also (once) to control (a horse). Also reflex. Also applied to God as ruling everything, see also All-weldand adj.(a) 1375 Barb. xii 321.
Giff ony deys … His ayr but ward releff or taile … [his land] sall weld [C. weild]
a1400 Leg. S. ii 113.
Sall he reinge and sa weld all?
a1400 Leg. S. ii 262.
He … prait to Hym at all can welde
c1420 Wynt. vii 396 (W).
He … fra him haly wan the land And wes a ȝere it than weldand
1513 Doug. i v 81.
Romulus sal the pepill ressaue and weld
1513 Doug. xiii x 105.
And vnder thy senȝeory … Sall weld and led thir ilk Italianys
(b) 1375 Barb. xii 321 (C) (see (a) above).
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 151.
All the wyis I weild ar at his avne will
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke xi 21.
1535 Stewart 41714.
Throw strenth … Tha weildit all thing at thair awin will
a1538 Abell 125b.
He sall oppin his eyn eftir this life and all salbe awa at he here weild
1567 G. Ball. 166.
Bot downe to cum … And all this warld to weild thow had
a1700 Mare of Colinton 65.
He warily did her weise and weild
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 1103.
c1420 Wynt. vi 2099.
As thai wald thame redy mak For thare fadyre dede to take Revengeans, or wald thare herytage
a1585 Maitl. Q. 205/119.
Sum men hes wrocht … in vaine And vtheris hes the warld waild at will
(d) 1567 Sat. P. v 135.
Keip weil your prince, & for him pray … His pepill weill in perfyte peace
reflex. ?1438 Alex. i 2362.
He hes na will For dout of deid to leif the feild Quhill he him on his hors micht weild

b. To control (the sea, or wind). 1375 Barb. iv 445.
Bot the wynd wes thaim agayne … That thai moucht weld the se na wis
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1365.
The busteous wind did blaw In bubbis thik, that na schipis sail micht weild it

c. intr.To be in control. c1420 Ratis R. 1421.
Than ringis the perfeccioune Of resone … Be scho nocht swa thar beis a lat And jugment beis al forȝet And vilfulnes and mysknawleg Ay wodly weildand

2. tr.To use, wield (a weapon, etc.). Also fig.(a) 1375 Barb. xi 99.
He had thar gaderyt sa clenly That nane left that mycht wapynnys weld
?1438 Alex. ii 3423.
Lift vp thyne ene, gif thow dar fare To ȝone citie—ȝouris that wourthy are, To se gif thay can wapnes weld
c1420 Wynt. i 653.
1456 Hay II 5/7.
Nature in him was sa faillid … that he had … na power to welde armes
c1500 Crying of Play 96.
Mony bald berne … Ar deid … Sen I couth weild a speire
1538 Lynd. Justing 18.
Frome tyme they enterit war in to the feild, Full womanlie thay weildit speir and scheild
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1300.
That time furth … He neuer weildit sword nor knyfe
c1594 Battle Balrinnis in Dalyell Sc. Poems 16th Cent. II 352.
The men could weild thair wapones weill
(b) c1420 Wynt. vii 1304.
A chyld than bot twelff yhere awlde, That wapnys mycht nowcht wychtly wauld
1533 Boece 618a.
Swa he mycht apoun his inemye waill ane straik
1596 Dalr. II 102/24.
He … sa weil could wale a sword, and sa cannilie could handle al kynd of wapne
fig. 1600-1610 Melvill 734.
For non tantum [etc.] … is the princes sword wailit againes us … he had the commissioun to put the britherin to the horne

3. To govern (oneself, one's affairs); to control, use (one's limbs, etc.); to have tutelage over (a child) or governance over (a wife, etc.). Also absol.(a) a1400 Leg. S. v 506.
Quhen Sancte Johne ves of elde, That he mycht nocht hym-selvyne velde
a1400 Leg. S. xxx 118.
Ane ald wyf [that] mycht nocht for elde Hyr awne self gudly weld
a1500 Rauf C. 925.
Wed ane worthie to wyfe, and weild hir with win
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 77.
Than suld I waill ane full weill … That suld my womanheid weild the lang winter nicht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 372.
Thought he of all my clathis maid cost … Ane othir sall the worschip haif that weildis me eftir
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 106/19.
Quhai … Preiffis maest mychttelye in the feld … hir luff sall weld
1513 Doug. xi vii 188 (Sm.).
Turnus all his lyfe May weild the kyngis douchter to hys wyfe
1513 Doug. xii xii 129.
Thocht the wond … To weild hys kne maid sum impediment That he mycht nocht braid swiftly our the bent
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xl 1178.
That he grace sal gif ȝou til, To wauld ȝoure lymmys at ȝour wil
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 450.
Quhill I may my wit wald, I think my fredome to hald
absol. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1625.
Thire two sonnes … War gevin in tutory and keping To King Teuteus to kepe and weild

b. absol.To manage, fare (in a particular way). c1475 Wall. iv 339.
Now lycht, now sadd; now blisful, now in baill … Nowe weildand weyle; now calde weddyr, now hett

c. ? To control (a person's actions) by a legal sanction. 1584 Burntisland B. Ct. 9 June.
The quhilk day Thomas Trumbel beinge valdit in the coketis of the burght at the instans of Jhone Kirk

4. To gain mastery over (a battlefield); to achieve (honour, success, one's own way). Also fig. ?1438 Alex. ii 3966.
To-morne airly richt to the nycht, Sall wirship weildit be [F. Demain sera prouesce en pris]
a1500 Rauf C. 965.
He thocht him richt worthie to byde in his steid, For to weild that worschip
1513 Doug. viii Prol. 22.
All is weill done, God wate, weild he hys will
fig. a1568 Bann. MS 221b/32.
I say allace for dreid my lady be With on moir rik arreistit be the renȝe Bot God of his grace gif I wer set & he In feild to wyn and weld … And nevir the les suppois scho nocht dedenȝe On me to luk I sall hir luvar be

5. To exercise (an attribute), to enjoy or use (an ability). Also absol. or intr. c1420 Ratis R. 1239.
Ȝouthed … wrangwysly hir werkis weild For resone than is ȝong & wak
c1475 Wall. vi 61.
Fortoune him schawit hyr fygowrt doubill face … Now at vnes, now in to rest and ruff Now weyll at wyll, weyldand his plesand luff
absol. a1500 Bernardus 351.
Quham God of mycht bade wald and virke & leffe In wytnes of Adame and of Eue

6. tr.To possess, have ownership of (things), also (everlasting) life. ?1438 Alex. ii 8122.
For man that lyfe may weild [F. pour honme qui soit nés]
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 37.
Thair vittalis war gone That thay weildit in wone
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 174.
All the wyis and welth he weildis … Sall halely be at your will
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 781.
The wy that weildis yone wane
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 941.
The rede blude … folowit the blaid, For all the wedis … that the wy weild
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 183/61.
Quha sall weild the wrang possessioun Or the gold gatherit with oppressioun
1513 Doug. vii v 127.
Lat nevir Ene … optene The spousage of Latinus douchter … And by na way lat nevir his feris weld [L. obsidere] A fut braid of Italiane grond
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. x 9.
Will ye nocht weld gold … in your girdilis
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. v 4.
Blessit be myld men: for thai sal weld the erde
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke xviii 18.
In quhat doing sal I weeld euirlasting lijf?
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Acts iv 32.
Nouthir ony man said ony thing of tha thingis that he weeldit [W. weeldide] to be his awne, bot althingis war comoun to thame

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



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