Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GUIDWILL, n. Also gude-, gweed-, gueed, -wull. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. goodwill. [For phonetics, see Guid; ′wɪl.]

1. As in Eng. = heartiness, zeal. Hence guid-willed, adj., zealous (Sh. 1955). Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 360:
I aft do wark Gudewillit, quhan I please.
Abd. 1875 G. Macdonald Malcolm xxiii.:
Ilk ane duin' its bonny pairt to mak a man a richt-hertit guid-willed sodger!

2. = Consent, in phr. to speir the guidwull, see quot. Sc. 1874 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes (1888) 718:
“Speiring the guidwull.” This was when the intended son-in-law, accompanied by a friend, went to the residence of the girl's parents and . . . sought their consent to his union with their daughter.

3. A gratuity (Abd. 1825 Jam., gueedwill); a perquisite; “the proportion of meal, ground at a mill, which is due to the undermiller” (Rxb. Ib.). Cf. Knaveship, Lock.

4. Derivs.: (1) guidwillie, -y, adj., (a) kindly, hearty, cordial, generous, open-handed (Bnff.7, Abd.7 1925, gweed-wullie; ne.Sc., Fif., m.Lth., Bwk. 1955); (b) ready, willing; (2) geed-willied, id. (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.); (3) gudewillieness, n., kindliness. (1) (a) Ayr. 1788 Burns Auld Lang Syne v.:
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught For auld lang syne!
Mearns 1822 G. Menzies Poems (1854) 197:
But Bessy, aye frank an' gude-willy, Explain'd a' the matter in brief.
Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood 47:
Like Maggie Findlater, terrible goodwillie to yer face an' despisin' the hale rick-ma-tick o' her fowk ahin their backs.
Bnff. 1953 Banffshire Jnl. (8 Sept.):
Fine thrivin' ferms an' a gran' class o' richt freenly an' gweedwillie fowk.
(b) Abd. 1839 A. Walker De'il at Baldarroch 14:
The goodman an' the gaudsman billy, To follow them war richt good willy.
(3) Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 21:
Oh, leeze me on Gudewilli'ness, Wha wears the kindly beamin' face, And lightens up the mirkest place Wi' rays o' love.

[O.Sc. has gude will, guid-, friendly or generous disposition, from a.1400; willingness, readiness, from 1375; also gudewilly, goodwillie, acting with or displaying good will, from 1533.]

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"Guidwill n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Aug 2020 <>



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