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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Quhatkin, adj. Also: qwhat-, quat-, what- and -kine, -kyn(e, (-kyning); and Quhattin(e. [North. and north. midl. ME quat- (Cursor M.), whatkin, -kyn, also quatkines (Cursor M.) etc., Kin n. 6; after the early 15th c. appar. only Sc.]

I. interrog. What sort of, what kind of, what. Also quhatkin a(ne). 1. In direct questions.Also, once, with that following the noun.(1) a1500 Rauf C. 233.
Quhat kin office art thow in, quhen thow art at hame?
a1540 Freiris Berw. 322 (M).
Quhat kin drink desyr ȝe for to crave?
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5001.
And to him self he said, Quhat kin vengeance can on ane man be laid Or quhat treasure may ony man now tine That strykis thé doun?
Ib. 9618.
How haue ȝe done, and sped in ȝour iornay: Or quhat kin end that ȝe haue brocht it to?
(2) a1500 Rauf C. 592.
Quhat kin a fallow was that ane, Schir, I thé pray?
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2134 (B).
Quatkin a [Ch. Quhat kynd of] woman is thy wyfe?

b. In rhetorical and exclamatory questions: cf. Quhat adj. 4. a1400 Leg. S. xlv 60.
& nocht to godis that neuir had Lyfe … , Quhatkine godis suld be tha?
1456 Hay I 175/10.
And sen he has na traist in his leautee na faith, quhatkyn faith suld he kepe him, or brek him?

2. In indirect questions after verbs of asking, knowing and the like.Also with that following the noun.(1) 1375 Barb. ii 226.
King Robert wyst he wes thar, And quhat-kyn chyftanys with him war
Ib. iv 649.
Bot ȝe wat nocht quhat-kyn forton Ȝhe mon dre in ȝour warraying
a1400 Leg. S. xi 87.
Bot quhat-kyne schape that Ihesu had Of visage, or quhow it wes mad, As tellis Iohnne of Damassene: He had gret & fare gray ene [etc.]
Ib. xv 68. c1420 Wynt. iv 312.
To grawnt hym wyttyng quhat kyne [C. qwhat, W. quhat kin] fyne Last suld fall off that discorde
Ib. vi 1766.
Gyff ony thare Wyst quhat kyn cownandys [W. quhat kyning condicionis] ware … Betwene hym and Edmwnd Irnesyde
1456 Hay II 72/3, 9.
Quhat kyn habit … thai suld have … , Quhat kyn plesance
1513 Doug. vii xi 11 (see Quhat adj. 8 a (1)). a1568 Scott xx 19.
To prufe … quhat kin thing wes lufe
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 3344.
Now ȝe may knaw quhat kin a woman am I
1562-3 Winȝet I 60/5.
Quha declaris expreslie quhatkin a faith thai haif in God be the faith and promis thai vse now commonlie to keip to man

b. Passing from interrog. into exclamatory use. = Quhat adj. 11 b.Quhatkin, qualifying nouns, = how great (a), how remarkable (a). Quhatkin a, qualifying adj.-noun phrases, = what a, what a remarkably.(1) ?1438 Alex. i 199.
Lordis, behald quhat-kin present That our goddis hes to vs sent!
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 3941.
Till him semblit the douzeperis … And God wate quhatkin leveray on thai laid
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 517.
The sicker suth sall ye se, Quhat kin men that thai be And how thai dar fight
1513 Doug. v xi 96.
Behald … Quhat sweit savour … from hir spryngis, Quhatkyn vissage hes scho
1562-3 Winȝet II 11/14.
And quhatkin wtheris pastouris thai war sen syne, the lichtis … of the Kirk of God, testifeis be thare writtingis
(2) c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 3932.
Bot God wate quhat kin a rusty menȝe Thay war
1513 Doug. ix v 105.
Beheld ȝe nocht quhat kyn a cursour wycht, Quhou prowd armour … That Turnus bair

c. (In, on) quhatkin wise: In what manner, how; (with weakened sense, passing into =) that.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 87.
Bot quhat kine wyse he God louit, Or hou that he his son blyssit, It ware ful lang here to say
?1438 Alex. ii 7438.
Ȝe sall wel wit on quhat kin wys, Or I pas hyne, how it me noyis That [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. i 307.
On quhat kyn wys and quhat manere Thir ilk geawndis gottyn were Syn syndry haldys oppynyown [etc.]
Ib. 939 heading.
Next schall yhe wyt on qwhat kyn wiis Egipe … liis
(2) a1400 Leg. S. v 91.
To schau tham in quhat-kine wyse Thire warldis guddis ar to dyspice
c1400 Troy-bk. i 320.
Quhen that he herd one quhatkyn wyse They lordes of Grece war at hys place
c1420 Wynt. iv 339.
Quhen he saw on quhat kyne wys Wencust were the Babilonys
Ib. viii 4214.

II. As compound relative adj. 3. a. The or that or any or every kind of, such sort of … as. a1400 Leg. S. xxv 605.
Bot in quhat-kyne thing he had to do The feyndis helpe he askyt thare-to
Ib. xl 805.
& sume that pane had of the stane … Or quhat-kyne infirmyte Man haf … Gat heile, tho it ware myslary
1388 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 295.
And to mak of new to the forsaid Alexander whatkin euident chartre or resignacoun plaine in the kyngis hand whairthruch the forsaid Alexander … micht be maste sikir
c1420 Wynt. i Prol. 62 (see Quhat 15 a (1)). Ib. iii 975, 978.
And he that mycht … thare wyn Off towrneamentys … or wersslyng Or quhat [C. qwhat] kyn gamyn that fyft yhere In the Olympy cryid were, Thare sulde be made hym na warnyng Off quhatkyn thyng he mad askyng

b. With that (at, sua, sa) ever following the noun, introducing or within a conditional-concessive clause: Whatever kind of, no matter what kind of. 1375 Barb. iii 675.
Bot quhatkyn dred that euir he had, Fayr contenance to thaim he maid
Ib. x 638. ?1438 Alex. ii 5234.
On quhatkin wyse Sa euer it fall, ȝit sall ȝour meid Be quit ȝow weill
c1420 Wynt. ii 1318.
To be thare-owte ay hym behuwyde, Quhatkyn craft sua evyre he pruwyde
Ib. v 1728.
Than ordanyde he That man to be howyn thare, In quhat kyn [ply] that ewyre he ware
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 14385.
That quhatkin eild that euer a man of be It sall him sett in age of xxxtj ȝere Quhan [etc.]

c. Passing into a simple indefinite adj.: Any kind of … at all, some kind of. (Cf. Quhatsumever 5). a1540 Freiris Berw. 336 (M).
My hart will never be haill Bot gif ȝe preif that practik or we part Be quhat kin science nigromansy or airt

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"Quhatkin adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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