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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

WEEL-KENNED, ppl.adj. Also -kent, weill kent. Well-known, familiar. Gen.Sc., also in n.Eng. dial. See Ken, v.Ayr. 1786 Burns Willie Chalmers ii.:
I doubt na, lass, that weel kenn'd name May cost a pair o' blushes.
Edb. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 55:
Nae mair ye'll hear that weel-kent rhyme.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary ii.:
Ye'll maybe hae heard of it in the Parliament-house . . . it's a weel-kenn'd plea.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped i.:
Campbell of Minch, and others, all well-kenned gentlemen.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 159:
That weel-kenned landmark in oor village street.
Ags. 1927 V. Jacob Northern Lights 3:
A soond that sets ye thinkin' And weel-kent steps across the floor.
Sc. 1965 Scotland's Mag. (Sept.) 52:
Sir Compton Mackenzie is a weel-kent face in his moustache and beard nowadays.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 80:
'Tam, mind what you're aboot, master masons are weel kent for their ill-temper when they're crossed. Dinnae you cross yours.'
Sc. 1989 Scotsman 10 Jan 9:
It's a well kent fact, as my mother would say, that when you first see the new moon, if your turn a penny in your pocket, it will bring you luck.
Edb. 1989 Gordon Legge The Shoe 44:
Terasa switched on the TV and picked up the remote control. Coronation Street. A collection of weel kent faces appeared on the screen, like old neighbours.
Lnk. 1991 Duncan Glen Selected Poems 26:
There bidit a man in Glasgow
lady, lady.
He was weill-kent for his weekly shauchle
doon to the broo. His lady, lady
pushed a pram to the steamy
and skelpt the bairns
oot onto the streets.
em.Sc. 1992 Ian Rankin Strip Jack (1993) 35:
' ... Chances are, you raid a posh brothel you're going to come out with some weel-kent faces.'
Sc. 1999 Herald 28 Aug 2:
Walking through the Ibrox corridors, following the coffee aroma that leads to the press conference suite, it became obvious just how profound an effect the victory over UEFA Cup holders Parma had on the Rangers personnel, with wide, pearly smiles dominating the faces of those figures familiar to hordes of light blue followers as well as those not so well-kent behind the scenes.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 193:
'That's for me tae mind and you tae guess. I said I'd tell ye aboot Weir, no aboot folk that helped and bieldit me. But I didna stey lang in Edinburgh, I'll say that. It wasna safe. Ma face was ower weill-kent.'

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"Weel-kenned ppl. adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Feb 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/weelkenned>

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