Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

WHEEFLE, v., n. Also wheeffle. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. whiffle, obsol. or dial. [ʍifl]

I. v. 1. tr. and intr. To puff, to blow, to drive with a puff (Lnk., Ayr. 1974). Ppl.adjs. wheeflin, of a wind: blowing in slight puffs, light (Ayr. 1948), whiffled, lightly-sounded, of a musical note. Fif. 1812  W. Tennant Anster Fair 145:
'Twas sweeter than the chiming winds that blow Upon th' Eolian park a whiffled note.
Sc. 1871  P. H. Waddell Psalms x. 5:
Wha fash wi' him, he wheefles them by.

2. To vacillate, dither about (Sh. 1974). Dial. in Eng. Ayr. 1833  J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 195:
I juist gied her aucht days to think on't — rowth o' time in a' conscience, Mr. Meek, to wheeffle.

II. n. 1. A puff, spurt, jet (of water) (Sh. 1974). Lth. 1925  C. P. Slater Marget Pow 203:
A fountain that lets out a whiffle of water nows and thens.

2. A slight insignificant thing, a trifle. Obs. in Eng. in 17th c. Cai. 1829  J. Hay Poems 155:
Not to spend thy youth in triffles, In flinting show and empty whiffles.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Wheefle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: