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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ILL-WILL, n., v. Also ull-wull (Abd.).

I. n. 1. Dislike, enmity, hostile feelings, malevolence. Orig. Sc. and n.Eng. Phrs.: †(1) to ha(v)e ane at ill-will, to dislike, to be ill-disposed to one; (2) to ha(v)e (or tak) (an) ill-will at, to take a dislike to (I., n.Sc., Ags., Gall. 1958); (3) to ha(v)e ill-will to, id.; also to be loath or reluctant to (Sh. 1958).Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 413:
Dinna meddle wi 'm; ye'll only mak' ill-will.
(1) Ayr. 1703 Session Bk. Dundonald (1936) 542:
He desyrd they might forbear the taking of James Fergusals oath because he knew he had him at ill will.
Gall. 1721 Session Bk. Minnigaff(1939) 387:
Having for some time past had them at ill will.
(2) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian ix.:
I had forgot what an ill-will ye had aye at the Paip.
Per. 1832 Fife Herald (26 April):
He had an ill will at the pannel for bringing his daughter into such a scrape.
Rnf. 1861 J. Barr Poems 112:
Did she no tak an ill will at me For saying her man was sae greedy.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxiv.:
The maister has a richt ill-wull at that mannie.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle iii.:
It brought me back from France, that I had no illwill to.
Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow xx.:
She has an awfu' ill-will at long sermons.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 8:
(Davie's faither wis a larry driver an aince in an awfa nicht o blindrift an hailsteens as big as fitbas he'd stukken jist ooto Knockandhu an taen an ill-will at the place sinsyne: "No can do at Knockandhu," he aye said.)
(3) Sc. 1748 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) II. 70:
I have ill will to mangle my feavorit shoes.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxvii.:
Mattie had ill-will to see me set awa on this ride.

2. Envy (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 12, ill-wull, Rxb. 1958).

II. v. 1. To wish evil to, to hate, “to regard with ill-will” (Abd. 1825 Jam., ‡Abd. 1958).Gall. 1796 J. Lauderdale Poems 60:
A' my neibours to ill will, I thought it best.
s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell Psalms xli. 7:
A' that illwull me whuspir thegither agayne me.

Hence (1) ill-willed, -et, -it, ppl.adj. (a) envious, spiteful (Sc. 1808 Jam., -it), hostile, having a dislike (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), -et, Sh. 1958); (b) of a person: mean, niggardly (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); (c) reluctant, averse, with till (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); applied to fish, unwilling to bite (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); (d) phr. to get ill-willed o' (a thing), to be given (a thing) grudgingly (Fif. 1958); (2) ill-willer, one who wishes evil against another (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.); ¶(3) ill-willing, ill-disposed, hostile, malevolent.(1) (a) Bnff. 1847 A. Cumming Tales (1896) 4:
I'm ill-will'd till't, an' nae guid at it.
(2) Sc. 1713 Earls of Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 140–1:
All their arrears of sallaries and allowances due to them by the crown (mine only excepted) are payed. But why? I perhaps too vainly think that my ill willers cannot tell.
Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms lv. 12:
Nae ill-willer geckit atowre me, or frae him I had slippet awa.
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 180:
He wasna well advis't by some o' Mully's ill-willers.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 191:
Plague on Fortune! a' my life I've found in her a sair ill-willer.
(3) Sc. 1889 Stevenson M. of Ballantrae i.:
It was given out for gospel by the ignorant and the ill-willing.

2. To envy (Rxb. 1958).Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 7:
The flichterin burdies daibbelt an dookeet; an A fair ill-wulled thum o ther plowtereen an ther swattereen.

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"Ill-will n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2023 <>



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