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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

WA-GANG, n. comb. Also waygang, wa(a)geng (Sh.), and in anglicised form way-goe.

1. (1) Departure, leave-taking, passing away (Sc. 1887 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1973). Combs. wa-gang crap, the final crop of a tenant before he quits a farm (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.). See Wa, adv., 2. (5) (ii).Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 27:
Frost and fawshood have baith a dirty waygang.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 81:
It's dowie in the hint o' hairst At the wa'gang o' the swallow.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin ii.:
That marked the wa'gang, not only o' a year but o' a century.
Bnff. 1922 E. S. Rae Glen Sketches 15:
I jist ken Rob and Tam never cam' hame ahin their 'wa'gang.
Abd. 1962 Buchan Observer (2 Jan.):
Ma mither gied tae th' door wi' the chielie fan he took his wa-gang.

(2) Fig., death (Sc. 1887 Jam.).Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling I. iii.:
Oh sic a death! may Heaven never let ony Christian ha'e sic a wa' gang.

2. A lingering taste or flavour, an aftertaste (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1973). Also fig.Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 24:
It [ale] had an ugly knaggim, an' a wauch wa-gang.
Rnf. 1873 D. Gilmour Pen' Folk 46:
It [an evangelical sermon] hasna the sweet wa'gang o' the auld times.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 98:
Da saut kidney maybe taks aff da waageng o' da oil.

3. A faint, dying sound (Sh. 1973).Sh. 1898 Shetland News (2 April):
Whin I cam ta da door I heard da wa'geng o' a man's voice.

4. “A deficiency, something which recedes, as a receding chin” (Mry. 1921 T.S.D.C.); an unevenness in a surface, as of a wall (Sh. 1973).

5. The outflow of water (Sh. 1973), specif. from a mill-wheel, the canal through which water runs from a mill, the tail-race, often in phr. the wagang o' the water (Lnk. 1825 Jam.). Also attrib.Sc. 1700 A. Balfour Letters 130:
They use to stop the way-goe of the Water, sometimes in the Summer, and lett the Place overflow with Water.
Sc. 1744 Session Papers, Nisbet v. Baxters Edb. (1 Nov.) 19:
The Defender could not lawfully build a Damdike so as to cause the Water restagnate of the Way-gang of the Pursuer's Mill.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 21:
Doon the gluckin' wa-gang path They cross'd on stanners at the wath.

[Wa, adv., + Gang, n.]

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"Wa-gang n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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