Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WHEECH, v.1, n.1 Also wheegh, wheigh, whihh, which, ¶whihe; †quhich, †quhigh (Jam.); wheek; ¶wheef- and freq. forms whihher, quhihher. [ʍi; ʍik]

I. v. 1. intr. To move through the air, to rush, dash with a whizzing sound (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 212; n. and m.Sc. 1974); to make any quick forward movement, to walk fast (Uls. 1924 Northern Whig (2 Jan.)). Deriv. whihher, quhihher, to dart, as a bird in flight (Ags. 1808 Jam.). Agent n. wheecher, wheeker, anything big or outstanding of its kind, something of top quality or excellence, a thumper, stunner (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Lnk., Kcb., Dmf. 1974), a big lie, a whopper (Dmf. 1974). Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 361:
I quhihher by thaim down the stream.
n.Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. quhich:
It gaid whichin by.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 25:
There was a sough, like flann or flaw As in he whihher'd throu' the wa'.
Kcd. 1925:
She wheekit awa' afore I cud say a word.
Ags. 1948 Forfar Dispatch (8 Jan.):
The Granny on the lum-heid gaed wheekin up ee air afore it fell throwe the sky-licht ee washin-hoose.
m.Sc. 1950 B.B.C. Broadcast:
It's what I would have called a “beezer,” a “wheecher”, or a “bobby-dazzler.”

2. tr. To remove (something) with a speedy, sweeping, forcible movement, to snatch or whisk away (Uls. 1905 E.D.D.; n. and m.Sc. 1974); in Lth. slang usage: to carry a load, esp. of coals, on one's back. Deriv. (coal-) wheecher, — wheefer, a coal-carter, coalman. See also Coal, n., 5. (12). m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 231:
Mony a backfu' o' peats I used to wheech across't when I was a bit laddie.
Edb. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 61:
I can wheigh awa' a basket or a pock.
Edb. 1876 J. Smith Archie and Bess 25:
Wheechers crying “Co-a-l-s!” in Greek.
Lth. 1930 J. Cockburn Country Love 144:
Geordie the coal wheefer.
Edb. 1955 Scotsman (2 June):
Leith traders whose customers were wheeched away to Sighthill or The Drum.
Cai. 1958 Edb. John o' Groat Liter. Soc.:
'E lassigies are real enthusiasts an' 'e yowng chiels are wheeched awey.
Edb. 1965 J. T. R. Ritchie Golden City 29:
Ye wheech the head off a yellow dandelion.

3. tr. To beat, to whack, smack, hit (Ags., Per., Lnk., Ayr. 1974). Vbl.n. wheechin. Gall. 1888 D. McWhirter Musings 147:
Oft by fortunes, frowns an' copes, And self mischanter wheekit sairly.

II. n. 1. A soft whizzing sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 210; ne.Sc., Lth. 1974); the hissing of an adder (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 473, whihe).

2. (1) A blow delivered with a whizzing sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 210; Kcd., Ags., Lth., wm.Sc. 1974); gen. in pl.: strokes with the tawse, a belting, at school (Fif., Lth., Lnk. 1974), adj. wheeky in comb. ¶wheeky-whacky day, a day at school in which the tawse is much in use (Id.).

(2) A sudden sweeping motion, a whisk (ne.Sc. 1974), used in quot. of a quick perfunctory hair-cut. Ags. 1964 D. Phillips Hud Yer Tongue 7:
The less particular, probably also less temperate barbers, sometimes turned out youthful clients with haircuts to be dubbed as The Wheech, or Catcht-inthi-Sweeng-Doors, by waggish grown-ups.

III. adv. With a soft, whizzing sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 210).


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"Wheech v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



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