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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.

WA, adv. Also waa, waw, wa(a)h; way. Aphetic forms of Awa, away. [wɑ:, wǫ:]

1. Away, freq. in imper. expressions (gae) wa (wi ye), go away, be off, lit. and as an exclam. of disbelief, disapproval or impatience, pooh! (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; I., ne.Sc., em.Sc. (a) Lnk. 1973). Phr. †to make way of oneself, to commit suicide.Sc. 1728 Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 47:
She came to that same spot of ground and made way of her self.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Let. xii.:
Gae wa — gae wa, lad; dinna blaw in folk's lugs that gate.
Sc. 1846 C. I. Johnstone Edb. Tales II. 363:
Gaw way, hinny! These orra things come cheap to me.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 94:
The house I'm sure would be weel quat o' ye . . . just gae wa' as ye are.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 204:
Waah, waah, that winna dee at a'.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xv.:
Wa' oot o' that; ye've been birslin' yer shins lang eneuch there.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 223:
A sofa! A sofa! Wah, wah, wah! tut, tut! That wad be indulgin' sweerness wi' a vengeance.
Ags. 1920 A. Gray Songs from Heine 24:
That'll süne gae 'wa '.
Edb. 1965 J. K. Annand Sing it Aince 43:
Gae 'wa, Gae 'wa, ye donnert auld fule.

2. In combs. with nouns and verbs: (1) waybein, absence; (2) wa cast, (i) ppl.adj., thrown away, tossed at a venture; (ii) n., anything of little value or unworthy of regard, a paltry or worthless thing, a throwaway, gen. in neg. sentences (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; I., ne.Sc., Ags. 1973); (3) waygane, wagyeen, gone away, departed (Sh. 1973); (4) wa-gang, see Wa-gang n. comb.; (5) waygate, a going away, departure, disappearance. Nonce usage by a confusion with Waygate; (6) wa-gaun, -gyaun, -g(y)ain, -gaen, -going, -ganging, (i) ppl.adj., (a) departing, going away. Comb. way-going tenant, an outgoing tenant (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc., also in n.Eng. dial.; fig., fainting, expiring, on the point of death; of light: fading; (b) tasty, having a persistent flavour, cf. Wa-gang, 3.; (ii) n., a going away, departure, leavetaking (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; n., em.Sc., Lnk., Wgt. 1973), fig. death. Combs. wa-gaun crap, the last crop sown by a tenant farmer before removing, which is normally harvested before Martinmas (s.Sc. 1825 Jam., wa-gangin crop), also in Eng. dial.; way-going sale, the sale of the stock and effects of one who is leaving a farm, giving up business or the like (n., em.Sc., Wgt. 1973); (7) wa-look, an averted look, “that suspicious down-cast look, which those have who look away from the person to whom they address themselves” (Cld. 1825 Jam.); (8) wa-pit, the act of sending away (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 207) or storing (Sh. 1973); vbl.n. wa-pittin, burial, funeral (Sh. 1973); †(9) way-scar, something which frightens one away, a terror. See Scar, v.; (10) way-sliding, a fall from the path of rectitude, a moral or spiritual deviation; (11) wa-takin, removal or carrying off, esp. by theft or violence (Ayr. 1930; Sh. 1973).(1) Dmf. 1830 W. Bennet Traits Sc. Life III. 269:
Janet 'ill be diein' wi' dread about my waybein'.
(2) (i) Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 57:
Ye notic'd, Glennie, yon dry ba' waw cast.
(ii) Abd. 1827 J. Imlah May Flowers 83:
Gie big-bellied John Bull his pot fu' o' Porter, Which is far frae a wa'-cast.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 311:
A dram like that's nae a wa'-cast on a hill-tap.
Ags. 1920 D. H. Edwards Muirside 229:
A bittie o' tobacco even widna be a wa-cast.
Abd. 1932 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 101:
The butt en' o' this chap wid be gey deidly tee, and faith, the shaft widna be a wa'cast.
Sh. 1947 New Shetlander No. 4. 2:
Robbie said among other things, that it was a wanwirt an a wa-cast.
(3) Sh. 1894 Williamson MSS. (17 March):
He's waygane for ever.
(5) Dmf. 1829 W. Caesar Jaunt 15:
Her way gate's caused an unco stir.
(6) (i) (a) Dmf. 1812 W. Singer Agric. Dmf. 170:
The way-going tenant, in scourging his farm, injures his landlord and successor.
Sc. 1845 R. Hunter Law Landlord Index:
Waygoing tenant's right to value of fallow land.
Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms xxiii. 3:
He waukens my wa'-gaen saul.
Cai. 1872 M. McLennan Peasant Life 38:
The price o' the pack 'ill be tae paey tae the waygaein' man.
Bnff. 1927 E. S. Rae Hansel fae Hame 43:
And as I gaed I saw a sicht, Sae waefu' in the wa'-gawn licht.
Sc. 1954 D. Mackenzie Farmer in W. Isles 156:
The way-going tenant is in as good a position.
Sc. 1997 The Hon. Lord Gill and Alasdair G. Fox Agricultural Holdings Styles 152:
[heading] Minute of agreement between landlord, outgoing tenant and incoming tenant - Waygoing/incoming valuation between incomer/outgoer - Single Value
Sc. 1997 The Hon. Lord Gill The Law of Agricultural Holdings in Scotland 246:
22.09 Where ownership of the holding changes hands at the date of the termination of the tenancy, the tenant's waygoing claims should be maintained against the outgoing proprietor.
Sc. 1997 The Hon. Lord Gill The Law of Agricultural Holdings in Scotland 246:
22.09...The incoming proprietor should make sure that these claims have been settled, in view of the possibility that the holding might be made subject to a charge at the instance of the waygoing tenant under section 75.
(b) Rxb. 1942 Zai 106:
Hame-made butter's mair way-gaun than the boucht yin.
(ii) Abd. c.1782 E.E.P. V. 775:
Fin waagyain cam, Shanks had 'er at the door settin' oot.
Sc. 1786 Session Papers, Elliott v. Currie (13 Dec. 1805) App. 4:
The tacksman has liberty to have the easter enclosure, on the north side, in corn or grass for his way-going crop.
Ags. 1819 A. Balfour Campbell I. xviii.:
It was a wae wa-ga'en to mae nor me.
wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 276:
Scringe cam the driver's whip alangside the noddy, and in its waganging gave me a skelp athort the chaft blade.
Inv. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Evid. I. 768:
Then there are clauses referring to the way-going crop, over-stocking, rates, and so on.
Fif. 1894 A. S. Robertson Provost 29:
I dinna want to seem thrawn noo, when I'm near my wa'-gaun.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (4 Dec.):
Yon wadder 'at wis i' da middle o' da ook is gotten a wagaein'.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Berwickshire Bard 304:
At the way-gaun o' the year.
s.Sc. 1898 E. Hamilton Mawkin xi.:
I'd be laith to get an ill-name at the very outset of our way-ganging.
Kcd. 1903 W. MacGillivray Drainie 66:
His wa-gaen wis sae quait an' calm it wis a gey filie till they war süre he was deid.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 78:
My faither couldn't attend to their way-gaun.
Fif. 1937 St Andrews Cit. (27 Nov.) 6:
There was a very good turn out of buyers at the waygoing sale.
Sc. 1954 D. Mackenzie Farmer in W. Isles 30:
To hope to recover a reasonable proportion of the value of his improvements on way-going.
(8) Per. 1897 R. M. Fergusson Village Poet 49:
His puir weedy micht hae had a better 'wa-pittin' than she got.
(9) Bte. 1853 W. Bannatyne Poems 246:
He keeps a tyke as grim's himsel, A wayscar baith to men and cattle.
(10) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xviii.:
Avoiding right-hand snares and extremes, and left-hand way-slidings.
(11) Kcd. 1900 W. Gairdner Glengoyne II. ii.:
Something o' the guilt o' the wa-takin' o' the cairn wis on my heed.

[For the form see Wey. O.Sc. has wa, away, 1602, waygaeing, 1589, -ganging, 1456, wataking, 1479.]

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"Wa adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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