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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

WISS, v.1, n. Also wis (Abd. c.1760 J. Skinner Amusements (1809) 64; Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xxxi.; ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 118; m.Sc. 1893 J. Buchan John Burnet ii. i.); wuss (Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xl.; Mry. 1825 T. D. Lauder Lochandhu Intro. iv.; Rxb. 1868 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 16; Lth. 1883 M. Oliphant Ladies Lindores xxxiii.; Kcb. 1913 A. Anderson Later Poems 19; Abd. 1929 Aberdeen Weekly Jnl. (3 Jan.) 6), wus (Abd. 1909 J. Tennant Jeannie Jaffray 81); †wese (Fif. 1796 St Andrews Baxter Bks. (MacAdam 1902) 197), weese (Bnff. 1864 Banffshire Jnl. (22 Nov.)); wush (Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 252; Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 155; Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 124; Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables frae French 36, Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chronicle (11 Oct.) 3, Abd. 1928 P. Grey Making of a King 66); weesh (Uls. 1929 J. Logan Uls. in X-Rays 82; Ags. 1963 D. Phillips Wiselike Ned 60); weish. Sc. form of Eng. wish (Sc. 1705 Seafield Corresp. (S.H.S.) 416; Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 17, 109; Sc. c.1803 Sweet William's Ghost in Child Ballads No. 77 G. i.; Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xx.; Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 13; Ork. 1913 Old-Lore Misc. VI. iv. 179; Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 15; I., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1974). Pa.t., pa.p. wissed, wist, wussed, wushed, -t, weished. See S, letter, 1. (2). [wɪs]

I. v.

Sc. forms of Eng. wish.m.Sc. 1994 Billy Kay in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 144:
As Sannie thocht about McTurk, the big ane's worries shin become his ain, an he hauf weished he had gan tae his wark tae get some money for the faimily.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 17:
I telt him I loued baith o them an wushed they widna miscaa ain anither becos it gart me grue inside.

Sc. usages:

1. tr. To want, desire, used in Sc. with direct obj. where Eng. now uses wish for or want (Sc. 1855 Scotticisms Corrected 61; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 199; n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1974).Abd. a.1809 J. Skinner Amusements 71:
But we always had the bliss, And what further could we wiss?
Sc. 1825 Scott Familiar Letters (1894) II. 367:
He wishes some house about Westminster.
Sc. 1907 H. C. Wyld Growth of Eng. 63:
Do you wish any more? do you wish any mutton?
Sc. 1928 A. A. Jack Angry Heart 45:
Bernard (entering); You wished me, Gertrude?
Fif. 1935 St Andrews Citizen (23 Feb.) 10:
Woman wishes daily work.
Abd. 1972 Buchan Observer (31 Oct.) 1:
Married couple wish unfurnished flat or rooms in Peterhead.

2. Followed by obj. clause with may or the pres. subj. or, less commonly, indic.: to hope, trust. Now only dial. in Eng.Per. 1745 W. Duke Lord G. Murray (1925) 83:
I wish there be no mistake.
Sc. 1778 A. Wight Present State Husbandry I. 21:
I wish his circumstances may not have suffered thereby.
Abd. c.1780 A. Watson Wee Wifeikie (1921) 6:
O Quoth the wee bit wifeikie, I wish I binna fou.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xxix.:
I wuss it bode me gude, for pride goeth before destruction.
Fif. 1864 St Andrews Gazette (20 Feb.):
I wiss something's no gaen wrang.
Abd. 1880 W. Robbie Glendornie x.:
I wush I may be keepit heumble.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (4 Dec.):
I wiss doo mayna repent dy ootgaein'.
Sc. 1926 H. M'Diarmid Drunk Man 42:
I wis I'll bring my orra life to beauty or I'm din.

3. Phr. and combs.: (1) weel-wished, given with goodwill; (2) wussin-time, the season of well-wishing; (3) wush-ee-war-here, a jocular name for a holiday postcard from its common greeting.(1) Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poetry I. 237:
The fare weel-wish'd, the gleed right clear, Your dozin'd veins will thaw.
(2) Ayr. 1929 R. Crawford In Quiet Fields 35:
This wussin time I wuss ye weel.
(3) Rxb. 1965 Hawick Express (1 Sept.) 6:
“Wush-ee-war-heres” cam threh Austrieh, Switzerland, an France.

II. n. As in Eng. Sc. phr. to a (very) wuss, -wish, just as one would wish, to one's complete satisfaction.Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scoticisms 106:
Every thing succeeds to a wish.
Ayr. 1879 J. White Jottings 221:
I've tentit weel your groset buss . . It's thriven to a very wuss.
Sc. 1940 in A. Stewart Alicella (1955) 302:
Mrs MacKenzie's luncheon always “passed off to a wish.”

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"Wiss v.1, n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <>



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