Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WIR, possess. adj. Also wer (Abd. 1867 A. Allardyce Goodwife 10; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 192; Gsw. 1935 McArthur & Long No Mean City i.; Uls. 1953 Traynor), wur (Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken 248, Abd. 1887 J. Cowe Jeems Sim 36; Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 116; Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. i. iv. 174; Gsw. 1914 D. Colquhoun Jean 12; Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (21 Feb.) 2; Ags. 1936 A. Fleming Christina Strang xv.). Sc. Unstressed forms of Our, possess. adj., q.v. (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 292; Ork. 1913 Old-Lore Misc. VI. iv. 179; Uls. 1929 W. F. Marshall Ballads 85; Ags. 1934 J. Angus Sheltering Pine i. iii. 1; Abd. 1959 Scottish Studies III. 47). A re-stressed form weer (after we) is heard occas. in ne.Sc. and elsewhere (Mry. 1912 T.S.D.C.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; ne.Sc., Per. 1974). Absolute forms wirs (Sh. 1901 Shetland News (2 March), 1948 New Shetlander No. 9. 15), wiz (Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. 158). Hence wirsel(l)(s), ourselves (Cai. 1896 J. Horne Canny Countryside 92; Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 223; Uls. 1913 F. Crichton Andy Saul 19; Abd. 1921 Weekly Free Press (21 Dec.) 2; Ags. 1936 A. Fleming Christina Strang x.). [wɪr, wʌr, wər; wir]

Sc. phrs. and combs.: (1) wir ain, our own (family, etc.). Gen.Sc. Also in reduced form wirn (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.); (2) wir house, wiroose, our home, ‘chez nous' (Sh. 1974); (3) wirlanes, -leen(s), ourselves alone, by ourselves (Sh., ne.Sc. (-leen(s)) 1974). See Lane, adj., 2.; (4) wirs(e), = (2). (1) Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 349:
It's a big hoose and there's aye room in it for wer ain.
(2) Sh. 1919 T. Manson Peat Comm. 161:
Dan ye'll touch alang wiroose an tak Betty an da rest o wis on board.
(3) Sh. 1899 Shetland News (11 Nov.):
We hae non' bit wirlens twa.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick ix.:
Seen Mains an' me'll hae a suppie be wirleens.
(4) Sh. 1924 J. Hunter Sketches 107:
I hedna lang eder ta wait or consider, fur he wis at wirs afore my brakfest wis ready.
Sh. 1953 New Shetlander No. 36. 29:
He would come ower ti wirse after he had changed out of his wet clothes.
Sh. 1973 New Shetlander No. 105. 13:
Lowrie o' da Sooth Punds cam alang wirs a Friday.

[The form derives from a svarabhakti vowel developing before r with consequent semi-vocalisation of u, thus [ur > uər > wər, wɪr].]

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"Wir possess. adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Jun 2021 <>



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