Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
WHANG, n., v. Also whaing, wheang, †quhang (Sc. 1808 Jam.); wh(e)ing, whyng; wha(u)nk (sm. and s.Sc.); ¶hyank (Per. 1902 E.D.D.). See also Thwang and for n.Sc. forms Fang, n.2 [ʍɑŋ; sm., s.Sc. ʍeŋ, ʍɪŋ, ʍɑŋk]
I. n. 1. (1) A thong, a long narrow strip of leather (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 249; Sh., Ags., Per., w.Lth., Ayr. 1974), used in making shoes, as a band, strap, etc. Also attrib. Adj. ¶whangy, made from a strip of leather. Also in Eng. dial.
Arg. 1725 Stent Bk. Islay (1890) 278:
All shoemakers to work the common whang work at a shill: Scots per every single pair. Gsw. 1749 Scotsman (31 Aug. 1934) 11:
8 sword whangs at 18s. Scots. Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man (1972) xxvii.:
Raip-ladders, or rather whing ladders, for climbing ower the wa's. Sc. 1825 Jam. Proverb:
They are ay at the whittle and the quhang, i.e. always in a state of contention. Sc. 1827 W. Motherwell Minstrelsy 371:
He's taen four-and-twenty braid arrows, And laced them in a whang. ne.Sc. 1832 A. Beattie Poems 127:
His joints, like whang o' souple slack, Fell in a dwaum just wi' the fright. Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 329:
Ye cut lang whangs aff ither folk's leather. Ayr. 1883 W. Aitken Lays 118:
Shoo them wi' hemp-thread and shoo them wi' whang. Sc. 1912 Rymour Club Misc. II. 148:
Thro' frost and snaw to Kate I gae, Drawn by a whing o' Cupid's lingle. Sc. 1966 Scotland's Mag. (March) 27:
One end of a whang or strong piece of string was next looped to the top knob and wound tightly round the grooves, beginning from the bottom and working up. Then with a firm flick we set the peerie off on the pavement quickly detaching our whangy accelerator.
Combs. and phr.: (i) spur-whang, a spur-strap; (ii) to tie one's hair without a whang, to deceive one (Fif. 1825 Jam., “a cant phrase”); (iii) whang-bit, “a bridle made of leather” (Jam.) but prob. rather a curb strap for a horse; (iv) whing-ladder, a ladder made with strips of leather.
(i) Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xxxvi.:
There are strapping lads enough would have rid us of him for the lucre of his spur-whang. (iii) Sc. 1733 Orpheus Caled. ii. 99:
A Pair of Branks, yea and a sadle, . . . A Whang-bitt and a Sniffle-bit. (iv) Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man (1972) xxvii.:
They are for making raip-ladders, or rather whing-ladders.
(2) a strip of dried skin, gen. of an eel or a sheep, used as a hinge for a flail (Sh. 1974).
Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 IX. 234:
The eels skins are valuable to the farmers for making whangs or bindings to his flails. Ayr. 1828 D. Wood Poems 59:
A white sheepskin for makin' whangs, To tie the flail. Sh. 1934 Scotsman (30 Aug.) 11:
In Shetland the hinged part of the old-fashioned flail for beating grain was frequently of “whangs” made from the sinews of a whale.
(3) a leather bootlace (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.: Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., whaing, whing; Arg. 1936 L. McInnes S. Kintyre 16; I., m.Sc. (whang), s.Sc. (whing) 1974), extended to mean any kind of shoe-tie; a lace in gen. Combs. whing-hole, an eyelet in a boot or shoe through which the lace is threaded (m., s.Sc. 1974); whengie [ < whengee], id., fig. an opening in the lower part of a field-dyke for sheep to pass through, a sheep-hole (Lnk. 1948); also as a place-name, The Whangie, a split rock through which a path runs, in the Kilpatrick Hills in Dmb.
Rxb. c.1730 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1972) 14:
For gray thrid whings . . . 2d. Ayr. 1828 D. Wood Poems 70:
He naething said, but down did cour, Tied his shoe whang. Sc. 1844 Chambers's Jnl. (29 June) 401:
With quarter boots and whings in them. Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 2:
The hobnailed boots laced with “Whangs”. Dmf. 1912 J. & R. Hyslop Langholm 722:
Bootlaces (“whaings” we called them). Rxb. 1924 Kelso Chronicle (25 July) 2:
It wad be a better plan to strip off the whingholes an' tell the cobbler to mend thae buits. Uls. 1929 M. Mulcaghey Ballymulcaghey 188:
The divil a see till tie my whangs I cud do.
†(4) a razor-strop.
Sc. 1746 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1930) V. 206:
To a case of razors and a whang . . . 5s.
(5) a thong for whipping, a whip-lash (Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 249).
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 189:
Then wi' a' souple leathern whang He gart them fidge and girn ay. Hdg. a.1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 49:
Baith fools an' knaves you crousely bang, An' wightly wag the skelping whang. Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 29:
At every stripe o' the inevitable and inexorable whang, the skin flipes aff frae nape to hurdies. Ags. 1850 J. Myles Dundee Factory Boy 9:
The canes and “whangs” of mill foremen were then used on helpless factory boys. Ayr. 1879 J. White Jottings 182:
Lang we've thol'd baith rung and whang.
(6) “Anything of a long and supple nature” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 472); a rope, halter; a length of twist tobacco (Sh. 1974); the penis (m.Sc., Slk. 1974).
Edb. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar xxxvi.:
When did ye ever hear that a whang or two of hemp crippled a man for life.
(7) “a term of abuse — applied to a female” (Ork. 1929 Marw.), poss. a different word.
2. (1) A long narrow strip of land.
Rxb. 1778 Session Papers, Memorial W. Dickson (26 Feb.) 5:
These two rigs of land in that part of the fields of Kelso, called Short Wheings.
(2) A long stretch of rather narrow road, a “ribbon”, specif. in phr. The Lang Whang, a name for the old Edinburgh-Lanark road, esp. the stretch between Balerno and Carnwath where it passes over open moorland (m.Lth., Lnk. 1974).
Sc. 1823 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 714:
He's gaun into Edinburgh, by Douglastown, and through by Carnwath and the Lang-whang. Sc. 1861 J. Brown Horae Subsecivae 211:
The wilds of Dunsyre or the dreary Lang Whang. Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 131:
I couldna hae seen a hyestalk on the Lang Whang Road. Knr. 1917 J. L. Robertson Petition 65:
O the witchin' line o' the Lang Whang Road Is a sicht for an exile's ee —. m.Lth. 1957 Scotsman (4 Jan.) 4:
The Lang Whang is a road that lives up to its name, for it winds like a snaking whip thong over the windswept northern foothills of the Pentlands.
3. (1) A large thick slice, gen. of something eatable, esp. cheese (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 472; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., whang, whank; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 249; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Wgt. 1956, whaing). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial. Fig. in phr. to cut a whang frae a new cheese, to take a woman's virginity.
Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 82:
The twa, with kindly sport and glee, Cut frae a new cheese a whang. Ayr. 1786 Burns Holy Fair vii.:
Wi' sweet-milk cheese, in monie a whang. Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 11:
For dauds o' bannocks, whangs o' cheese, Their pouches a' they sought ance. Slk. 1818 Hogg Tales (1837) I. 264:
A good whang of solid fish. s.Sc. c.1830 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1916) 86:
At the birth of a child, the gossips after having a good blow-out with merry-meat orders the husband or father of the newborn child, to present his shootin'-cheese and cut the “whang of luck”, for the young unmarried women in the company. Sc. 1836 Chambers's Jnl. (9 April) 88:
I showed him a whang of a bear bannock, meaning that I didna care a farthing for him. Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin iii.:
In her pouch she carried a sonsey pease-meal scone, an' a wordy whang o' skim-milk cheese. Hdg. 1885 S. Mucklebackit Rural Rhymes 197:
Plates heaped high with scones and cheese, cut up into ready whangs. Wgt. 1893 A. Agnew Hered. Sheriffs II. 348:
I've gien him a bannock, and a whang o' flesh forbye. Dmf. 1915 D. J. Beattie Oor Gate En' 26:
The toodies were being screwed oot o' a big whank o' dough. Bnff. 1922 Banffshire Jnl. (21 Feb.) 6:
A whang o' blue hame-made cheese, an' a bottle o' reamy milk. Sc. 1964 Weekly Scotsman (4 Feb.) 9:
Whangs of Shortbread, buttered scones and Dundee cake.
(2) In gen.: a large amount or number of anything, a chunk, a sizeable slice (wm.Sc. 1974).
Ayr. 1841 J. Paton Songs 30:
And cuttit off a cursed whang. Abd. 1918 W. Mutch Hev ye a Spunk? 13:
An' fou I captured sic a whang They socht me to explain. Abd. 1922 G. P. Dunbar Whiff o' Doric 15:
Alang wi' birsled tatties, neeps, An' whang o' ither stuff in heaps. Gall. 1933 Gallov. Annual 23:
For Drury's awa' an' has ta'en A whaunk o' the aul' world wi' him.
(3) transf. A big hefty person, a lump of a man.
Ags. 1888 Arbroath Guide (26 May) 3:
A muckle whang o' a bobby took me to a hotel.
4. A stroke, blow, buffet; a cut with a whip (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 472; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Uls. 1929; Rxb. 1942 Zai; I., em.Sc., Lnk., sm.Sc. 1974). Also in Eng. dial.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
A whank aneth the haffets. s.Sc. 1833 Border Mag. 228:
She brought me such a whang wi' her wing as she rushed enraged by. Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lads' Love iii.:
Trying to edge near enough to the De'i to get a good satisfactory “whang” at him. Sc. 1904 R. Ford Hum. Stories II. 89:
But men-fouk, when fechtin', stick mair by the whangie, A hug an' a thump, an' a dour collieshangie. Ork. 1910 Old-Lore Misc. III. iv. 209:
I gave them a whang with my stick.
II. v. 1. tr. or absol. (1) To cut in chunks or sizeable portions, to slice (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Peb., Slk. 1825 Jam.; em.Sc., Rxb. 1974); to take lumps from, to eat greedily into. Deriv. whanger, a knife used for carving or slicing meat (Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man (1972) iv.) but see etym. note.
Sc. a.1743 in D. Herd Sc. Songs (1776) II. 131:
We'll live a' the winter on beef and lang-kail And whang at the bannocks of barley-meal. Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 139, 187:
Who kindly flings them mony a crum O' kebbock whang'd. . . . To Walker's he can rin awa There whang his creams an' jeels. Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 41:
Whang down the cheese like peats. Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 101:
We'll whang the kebbock wi' the knife. s.Sc. 1838 Wilson's Tales of the Borders IV. 277:
The sheep, roasted, or rather broiled was subjected every now and then to an incision from the large whangers or knives. Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 27:
Though unco jimp Life's whangit slice. Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie In Two Tongues 40:
No bein' whang'd oot o' granite rock.
(2) to cut with a slicing movement, to slash, chop, snip; freq. of cutting down or off vegetation.
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 125:
Younkers ply their reaping heuks In whanging down the ripen'd grain. Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 320:
The barber syne croppit him cleverly: He whang'd off his nose. Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin vii., xxix.:
He sent me up for the sheers, wherewith he whankit them aff, juist as if they had been a wheen beasin' steeks. . . . Whankin' doon whatever opposed my progress — corn thristles, carldoddies, brume-cowes. Gall. 1888 G. G. B. Sproat Rose o' Dalma Linn 242:
Wi' a pair o' guid horses I whanged owre the sod. Dmf. 1915 J. L. Waugh Betty Grier vii.:
He pu'd a turnip, an' was juist gaun to whang off the shaw.
Hence whankie, n., a sickle-blade mounted on a long handle for cutting down thistles, inaccessible twigs, etc. (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Lth., Bwk., s.Sc. 1974).
2. To move (something) with sudden force, to thrust, push, pull, etc. with a jerk (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Black Douglas xix.:
Whang the steel bolt through his ribs. Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
The dentist whankit oot ma tuith.
3. intr. To move suddenly or with rapidity, to jump, start, etc.
Gall. c.1820 Bards Gall. (Harper 1889) 98:
Nor fret then, to get then, A “Sax-in-han'” to ca'; To whang up, an' bang up, Amang the gentry a'.
4. To beat, whip, flog, lash with or as with a thong or whip (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Knr., Fif., Rxb. 1974, whank), to batter; fig. to trounce, defeat, worst. Vbl.n. whanking, a thrashing (Rxb. 1972 Hawick News (7 Jan.)). Deriv. whanker, a large or imposing specimen of its kind, a thumper (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Bwk., wm.Sc., Wgt., Rxb. 1974).
Ayr. 1786 Burns Ordination iii.:
Heresy is in her pow'r And gloriously she'll whang her. Rxb. 1807 J. Ruickbie Wayside Cottager 175:
Tho' I get my hurdies whankit. Abd. 1820 A. Skene Poems 27:
Wha smugglin' devils kept in awe, An' did them whang. Kcb. 1883 G. Murray Sarah Rae 47:
No Morrison nor Craig will whang us, My bonnie stane. Ags. 1889 J. Fotheringham Carnoustie Sk. 99:
The pupils were taught and whanged for a half-penny per week each. Kcd. 1897 Bards Ags. (Reid) 155:
We micht own it was wrang the birkie to whang.
III. int. With a clatter; bang! thump!
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Men of Moss Hags xxiii.:
Whang! Doon on the hearthstane fell my souter's elskin.
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"Whang n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Feb 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/whang>
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