Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WI, prep. Also we (Sc. 1726 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 224; Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 51; Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 6); wae (Uls. 1900 T. Given Poems 147, w.Lth. 1908 J. White Pen Sketches 11; Ork. 1911 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 11); wui (Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 4); unstressed w'. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. with. See P.L.D. § 71. The form wee represents a coalesced form of wi (th)e, freq. in em.Sc.(a). Cf. weit [ < wi it] (Sc. a.1719 in Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 226). [wɪ, wə, w; stressed wi. The Sc. pronunciation of the Eng. form is usu. wɪþ.]

Sc. usages: 1. where Eng. now employs a different prep.: (1) = by, (i) by means of, by the action or instrumentality of, after passive verbs (Abd. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Now only dial. in Eng. Rxb. 1704 Stitchill Court Book (S.H.S.) 153:
Each trie that shall be broken and eatten with beasts.
w.Lth. 1716 T. Johnston Bo'ness Sea-Box (1890) 44:
To a poor seaman taken with the Turks, 14s.
Dmf. 1755 Session Papers, Irving v. Irving (12 June) App. 5:
My Papers at Cove, being eaten with the Mice.
Abd. c.1782 Ellis E.E.P. V. 773:
I'm nae tae be aa ourgane wi you.
Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnston Eliz. de Bruce III. viii.:
I was scorned with the Lady Susan.
wm.Sc. 1834 College Album 134:
Wee sanny davishon was sticket wi a made nowt yestreen.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse 154:
Whiles ye're frightened wi' the cat.
Mry. 1898 J. Slater Seaside Idylls 7:
Jane Ann, I'm affronted wi' ye.
Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 12:
I was beat wi't.
Abd. 1912 A. R. Birnie Pig Charlie 16:
A'm gaun tae get measurt wi' the tailor neist.
Rxb. 1958 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 22:
We were chased wi' the police.
Bnff. 1964 Banffshire Adv. (22 Oct.) 12:
He wis run ower wi' a trainie, peer chiel.

(ii) by reason of, through, as a result of, followed by the gerund. Gen.Sc. Rnf. 1824 D. Webster Rhymes 20:
Wi' hoochin and crackin' his whup, The youngsters around him came staring.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
Wi' bein frae hame I miss'd him.
Cai. 1905 E.D.D.:
Wi' bein ill he couldna come.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 8:
Wui no comin ben suiner, A've gaen an luitten the room feier oot.

(iii) by the conveyance of (train, bus, etc.) (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc. ne.Sc. 1973:
He'll be here wi the five train.

(iv) through one's partner in procreation, by (one's husband or wife) (I., n.Sc. 1974). Obs. in Eng. Sc. 1803 Edb. Mag. (July) 75:
Mr Stark had been married several years to a woman, with whom he had four children.
Sc. 1933 Sc. N. & Q. (Jan.) 8:
According to Grosart, John Forbes had with his spouse Margaret Duguid an only son.
Abd. 1973:
She had a bairn wi him afore she was mairriet.

(v) according to (an account, description, explanation, story, etc.). See also Tale, 1. (5). Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. ii.:
Some can clink verses, wi' their tale, as weel as Rob Burns or Allan Ramsay.
Dmf. 1826 H. Duncan William Douglas I. 224:
He wad gang and reconnoitre, wi' his tale.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 4:
Mockreef folk that are unco smert. wui ther tale.
Abd., Per. 1974:
It was worth twa hunner poun, wi his wey o't.

(2) for, (i) in neg. sentences to indicate inability: because of, owing to. Gen.Sc. Ags. 1821 D. Shaw Songs 29:
For gin they hadna claes, faith they cou'dna fecht wi' cauld.
Bnff. 1847 A. Cumming Tales 37:
Honest folk that hae the grace o' God about them canna get lived wi' thievin' heretics worryin' ane anither.
Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 109:
A couldnae git sleepit wi the lichnin, wi the dogs barkin.

(ii) for lack of (Sh., Abd. 1974). Inv. 1743 Trans. Gael. Soc. Inv. XI. 345:
Young Invercauld is so pressed with time, that he could not stay two or three weeks.

(3) = in, in regard to. Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 77:
Whun a buddie's wrang wi thir mind.

(4) = of, in phr. to die wi. Gen.Sc. Obs. in Eng. exc. dial. Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 287:
What did she dee wi'? Wi' a sair head!
Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 41:
The young hill-side lammies wad dee wi' the cauld.
ne.Sc. 1974:
The bairn near deet wi the fever.

(5) = to, (i) in greetings (Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems (1877) 206; Bwk. 1859 P. Landreth J. Spindle 58; Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 18; Sh., n., m. and s.Sc. 1974). Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller xii.:
Gude night wi' ye a'.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxiv.:
Gweed nicht wi' ye.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 143:
Weel, gude-nicht wi' ye.
Dmf. 1929 Sc. Readings (Paterson) 72:
Guid day wi' ye.

(ii) with verbs of marrying, being accustomed. Gen.Sc. Abd. 1740 Session Papers, Fergusson v. Arbuthnot, State of Process 2:
His Mother was married about a Year thereafter with Alexander Gordon.
Ayr. 1787? Burns Joyful Widower i.:
I married with a scolding wife.
Ags. 1974 “Tam Thrum” Look before ye Loup II. 20:
Fo'ks wha had been lang accustom'd wi' kirks an' religion.
Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 18:
I am accustomed with that.
Lnk. 1895 W. Stewart Lilts 58:
No used wi' speakin' I'm quite herse, man.
Abd. 1935 D. Rorie Lum Hat 19:
Ye're used wi' gaun alane?

(iii) in phr. naething wi him, etc. but, = nothing in one's head but, no interest except (ne.Sc. 1974). Ags. 1857 A. Douglas Ferryden 83:
There's naething wi' 'im bit fill 'is belly.

2. In phrs.: (1) to be wi, to be even or quits with, avenged on. Obs. in Eng.; (2) with neg. aux. canna governing a verb of enduring or tolerating understood: not to be able to put up with (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (3) with aux. will, winna, followed by a verb in the active mood used with a passive sense: in accordance with one's efforts or inclinations, to one's satisfaction, at the behest of (see quots.) (Sh., Cai., Abd. 1974). (1) Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
I'll be wi' him for that yet.
(2) Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 12:
Italian trills he cudna wi' them.
(3) Sc. 1825 Jam.:
That buik winna read wi' me. The horse winna gang to the water wi' me.
Ags. 1846 A. Laing Wayside Flowers 138:
My father wad lead wi' a bairn, But wadna be ca'd for the de'il.

3. For verbs of acknowledging with wi see Confess, Own, Tak, B. I. (16).

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"Wi prep.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2021 <>



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