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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ONWAIT, v., n. Also -wyte (ne.Sc.). [′onwet; ne.Sc. -wəit]

I. v. In gerund, absol. or with for: the act of waiting for, on, awaiting, patient expectation; attendance, attention, nursing.Sc. 1730 T. Boston Memoirs (1852) 358:
His remarks were, after long onwaiting for the returning of my MS., sent out to me by Mr. Hogg.
Lth. 1851 M. Oliphant Merkland III. vi.:
A thing does not commonly succeed till it's tried; ay, tried with labour, zeal, and onwaiting.
ne.Sc. 1888 D. Grant Keckleton 126:
To be sure John maintained that the change wis brocht aboot by mair judicious feedin' an' onwytin'.

II. n. The act of waiting, a long wait; a person requiring constant attendance, as in sickness, or who causes a long wait (ne.Sc. 1964).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 120:
We hid an unco on-wyte for thim; for they wir mair nor four oors ahin thir time.
Abd.7 1925:
Of a paralytic who is confined to bed and requires constant attention, it will be said that he is a “gey on-wyte.”
Bch. 1929:
A doonricht onwyte, the weemin' folk fan they ging in till] a cloot or hat shop.

[O.Sc. onwait, n., 1522, v., 1581.]

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"Onwait v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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