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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

WAGE, n., v. Also waidge, wedge, weag (e.Lth. 1744 Scots. Mag. (Jan. 1897) 152); wadge (Sc. 1700 Sighs of a Sinking Kingdom 2; Abd. 1731 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. II. 252), waage (Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb viii.; Per. 1887 R. Cleland Inchbracken 245; Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 63), wauge (Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 42; Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town 55), wawge (Abd. 1913 D. Scott Hum. Stories 23), wauje (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); vadge (Bnff. 1703 Records Bnff. (S.C.) 247); pl. wadgies. Sc. forms and usages. [wedʒ; ne.Sc. wɑdʒ. See P.L.D. § 27.1.]

I. n. 1. Specif. in pl., school fees (Ayr. c.1885).Rxb. 1711 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1902) 57:
To Isabel Ker 3 quarters wadgies for poor scholars in Borthwickhaugh …. £1. 8s.
Kcb. 1742 J. A. Russell Hist. Educ. Kcb. (1951) 61:
In payment of the poor scholars wedges for the two years.
Ayr. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XII. 401:
The wages for teaching are very small, being 1s. 6d. a-quarter for reading, 2s. for writing, 3s. for arithmetic and church music.
Ayr. 1819 Kilmarnock Mirror 299:
I stappet down to the school-house to lift the quarter wages according to notice given.
Per. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 X 247:
The wages for beginners are 2s. per quarter; 2s. 6d. for reading and writing; and 3s. for arithmetic and Latin.
Ayr. 1869 Innes Review (Spring 1962) 91:
Parochial Board paid wages of some of the poorer children who are on the parish.

2. The act of shaking in a threatening manner (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 211, wodge).

II. v. 1. (1) To pledge. Obs. since 16th c. in Eng.Ayr. 1791 Burns Ae Fond Kiss iii.:
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

(2) to wager, bet (Cai., Fif., Lth., wm.Sc. 1973). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial. since 17th c.Slg. 1804 G. Galloway Luncarty 45:
I'll wage the globe (were't mine) French knaves will run.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 70:
I could waidge that that's Jock Scott.
Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie In Two Tongues 39:
I'll wadge for the wifey they mootched richt weel.

2. tr. To wield (an implement), to brandish or hurl (a weapon) (ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1973); to shake (one's fist) in a threatening manner (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). Rare in Eng. Orig. from the notion of challenging implied in wage in (2) above.Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin x.:
The chield began to wadge his steekit neive wi' great fury close to my nose.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 211:
He wodget's nivv in's face. He wodget a ramack o' a stick our's hehd.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 18:
Winter! A' the chiels ootbye Waugin' graips tae meat the kye.
Bnff. 1969 Banffshire Jnl. (7 Jan.) 3:
Out of the door he ran wodgin' his nieve.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 32:
Reengin the roads wi geets an a tyke at her heel,
Gabbin laich-in tull hersel an wadgin her nieve
At her ain face glowerin up throwe Strypie's waal.

[O.Sc. has the form wadges, from 1499, waidges, school fees, 1627.]

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"Wage n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2022 <>



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