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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

WARE, n.1, v.1 Also wair, wear; war, warr (Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 92), waar, waare (Abd. 1925 A. Murison Rosehearty Rhymes 7), waur (Abd. 1943 W. S. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 1); -wir (Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 17, 1959 New Shetlander No. 51. 8). [wer, wɑr]

I. n. 1. Seaweed, esp. of the Fucus and Laminaria sort (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, s.v. Waris; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., waar; Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 274; I., n., em., wm.Sc. 1973). Also in Eng. dial.Fif. 1701 D. Cook Pittenweem 107:
To let the ware for burning to the same Englishman that had it last year.
Abd. 1749 Abd. Journal (10 Oct.):
The neighbouring Tenants in Ratray pay yearly for a Liberty of carrying Ware off the Shore.
Ork. 1759 Session Papers, Earl of Morton v. Covingtree (9 July) 41:
Tang and Wair are two different Things; Tang grows upon the Rocks above the Low-water Mark, and Wair grows in the Sea, without the Low-water Mark.
Ags. 1774 Arbroath T.C. Rec. MS. (19 May):
The Ware upon the Rocks on the shore within the Royalty is appointed to be rouped by the Council.
Sth. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 III. 531:
The sea weeds commonly used as manure are the tang and kelp ware.
ne.Sc. 1828 Walter Lesley in Child Ballads No. 296 xi.:
I'd rather be in Duffus land, dragging at the ware.
Abd. 1884 Folk-Lore Jnl. II. 331:
In districts where sea-weed — ‘waar' — is used as manure, the farmers showed much anxiety on New Year's morning to have the first load of weed.
Sh. 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 22:
Hit wharves da waar an sturs da saand, An lays da froed up owre da laand.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle ii.:
Sand-spits strewn with ware.
Abd. 1961 P. Buchan Mount Pleasant 32:
The tang o' the sun-dried waur on the beach.
Ork. 1988 Scotsman 14 Jun 14:
I fetched up more baskets of ware from the ebb yesterday, and the seaweed was warm in the sun. It makes excellent fertiliser, but it is hard-won, for it is very heavy to carry, and to lift back up over the dyke.

2. Combs. and deriv.: (1) bratwar, see s.v.; (2) income ware, seaweed thrown up on the shore; (3) red ware, see Reid, adj., 1. (77) (I.Sc., Fif. 1973); (4) sea-ware, see Sea, n., 87.; (5) strawberry ware, see Strawberry, 1.; †(6) ware barley, barley manured with seaweed; †(7) ware bear, id. (Abd. 1783 Caled. Mag. (21 March) 64); (8) ware-blade, a frond of seaweed (I.Sc. 1973); (9) war(e)-br(e)ak, the breaking off and washing ashore of seaweed during an onshore gale (Sh., Ork. 1973); (10) war-brook, a large heap of seaweed cast up on a beach (Cai. 1907 County Cai. (Horne) 67). See Brook, n.2; (11) ware-caist, id. (Ork. 1905 E.D.D.). For the second element see kest, Kes, n.; (12) ware cod, an inshore cod which feeds among the seaweed (Ork. 1973). Cf. red ware cod s.v. Reid, adj., 1. (77); (13) ware-ell, warl, a small marine eel which feeds among seaweed; (14) wairgate, the right of access to a beach to remove seaweed; (15) ware goose, the brent goose, Branta bernicla (Sc. 1852 W. Macgillivray Brit. Birds IV. 629; e.Lth. 1881 Hist. Bwk. Nat. Club IX. 402, wear — ). Also in Eng. dial.; (16) war(r)ie, -y, waari(e), -y, waury, covered with, living among or in gen. pertaining to seaweed (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., warry; Sh., Abd. 1973). Freq. in combs. as waarie bowg, -bug, warrie-boug, a bladder of the yellow tang, Fucus nodosus (Cai. 1905 E.D.D.), also a nickname for an inhabitant of Huna, a fishing hamlet on the northern coast of Caithness. See Bougwaar, warry codlin, -keelin, a young inshore cod (Mry. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.; Sh., ne.Sc. 1973), -sillack (see Sillock) (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); ¶(17) warly, in comb. warly buoy, a buoy placed by fishermen at the outer side of a bed of seaweed to warn boats to keep to the seaward to avoid fouling their lines (Abd. 1934). The form is somewhat doubtful, ? for warie under (16); †(18) ware-pick, a pick or mattock for uprooting seaweed (Ork. 1973); (19) war sea, a heavy sea which casts seaweed ashore (Ork. 1973); (20) ware-strand, a beach where drift-weed piles up (Ork. 1909 J. Gunn Orkney Bk. 230).(2) Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 116:
What I have hitherto observed is only of Ware thrown in by the Sea, which the Farmers call Income Ware.
(6) Lth. 1783 A. Wight Present State Husbandry IV. 479:
Ware barley is so inferior in quality and appearance to ours.
e.Lth. 1794 G. Buchan-Hepburn Agric. E. Lth. 75:
This barley, when sowed upon the coast lands manured with sea weed, which we call ware barley.
Sc. 1806 R. Forsyth Beauties Scot. IV. 522:
Distillers prefer the ware-barley on account of its fairer colour and thinner husk.
(7) Abd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VI. 17:
When bear or big is manured with sea-ware, the crop is very abundant, but the grain is very small, and is known by the name of ware-bear.
Abd. 1908 Misc. New S.C. II. 10:
Among the species for crop 1655 a new Bear was introduced, and one unquestionably inferior to the others. It was called Wair or Ware bear and a [fiars] price was struck for it until 1808.
(8) Ork. 1762 B. H. Hossack Kirkwall (1900) 147:
The lempods growing upon the rocks, being sometimes the food of the poor, for want of wair blades, their covering, have fallen from the said rocks by the heat of the sun.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (5 Nov.):
Only got da waarblade for a windin' sheet.
(9) Ork. 1883 J. R. Tudor Ork. and Sh. 363:
The ware, or leaves of the same sea-weed, comes ashore in spring, the “ware break,” as it is termed, generally occurring in April, and easterly or south-easterly winds send most ashore.
(12) Rs. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 III. 509:
Small rock and ware cod, gurnet, turbot, and padles are found.
(13) Abd. 1943 W. S. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 56:
The warl, donnach, cumper noo.
(14) Abd. 1849 Acts 12 & 13 Vict. (Private) c. 14:
The Privilege of Wairing and Wairgate to the Tenants of the said Lands upon the Shore of Cairnbulg.
(15) Bwk. 1911 A. H. Evans Fauna Tweed 151:
On our coast their diet consists to a very great extent of Zostera marina, the sea-wrack or sea-ware, from which they obtain the local name of Ware Geese.
(16) Sh. 1816 Shetland Adv. (6 Jan. 1862):
I brook me fast wi' a waarie sillack.
Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 92:
A lang warrie point 'at ran oot frae da nort side o' da Holm o' Snagirt.
Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Jooly 10):
Aa waary-codlins is no red alaek.
Abd. 1943 W. S. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 38:
A hunner years mid bitter blasts and snaws Ye've steed abeen the gwites and waury lecks.
Sh. 1964 Nordern Lichts 8:
Dir eeltows hev been set aa nicht At da röt o da waari baa.
(18) Ork. c.1893 W. R. Mackintosh Peat-fires 244:
Perhaps she might have struck him with any weapon that came to hand, as some women in Stromness or Sandwick did with their “ware-picks” when the press-gang attempted to seize their male friends.
(19) Fif. 1865 St Andrews Gaz. (21 Oct.):
Mr John Coupar, of Bridge Street, who has attended the ‘war sea' all his lifetime.

II. v. 1. To manure with seaweed (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 207; Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; ‡Ork. 1973). Ppl.adj. wared, manured with seaweed (Ork. 1808 Jam.).Cai. 1700 J. E. Donaldson Cai. in 18th Cent. (1938) 126:
The horse did war 2 riges in the small hoomes the said day.
Mry. 1760 E. D. Dunbar Social Life (1865) 97:
The first best man servant where there are no waring.
Ork. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVI. 253:
In the spring season, after the oats are sown, the farmer gives the wared land one ploughing, which they call their fallow.
Ork. 1911 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 21:
By the first of February all the doon land would have been wared.

2. To gather seaweed, in vbl.n. wairing.Abd. 1849 Acts 12 & 13 Vict. (Private) c. 14:
The Privilege and Liberty to the Tenants of Inverallochy of Wairing upon the Shore of Cairnglass.

[O.Sc. waier, 1462, ware, 1491, warcodling, 1525, O.E. war, id.]

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"Ware n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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