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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.

WARE, n.4 Also wair; war (Gall. 1828 W. McDowall Poems 22), warre, waur; vare (Wgt. 1705 Session Bk. Wigtown (1934) 89; Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 355), vair (Wgt. 1705 Session Bk. Wigtown (1934) 80), ver, varre (Wgt. 1704 Ib. 65). [wer, wɑr]

1. Spring, springtime (Gall. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis s.v. Veir; Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 693; Cld., Ayr., Gall. 1825 Jam.; Abd. 1870, ver; Uls. 1953 Traynor, s.v. Voar); specif. cold bleak weather during the season of spring (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 355). Also attrib. Also in n.Eng. dial.Wgt. 1704 Session Bk. Wigtown (1934) 67:
On a warre night [they] came both into her house and drank a chopine of ale.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 334:
The Ware Evening is long and tough, The Harvest Evening runs soon o'er the Heugh.
Ayr. 1776 A. Edgar Old Church Life (1885) 335:
About Ware last, he fought his cock with the minister's cock on a Sabbath day.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 113:
The blow was ettled at a tall ane, A braw ware cock.
Dmf. 1820 J. Johnstone Poems 26:
I'll be as blythe as birds in wair.
Uls. 1898 S. MacManus Bend of the Road iii.:
He'll go to him the throngest day of Ware, an' the warmest day in Harwust.
Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 355:
It is as cold as a day in ware.

2. Combs. and deriv.: (1) wair-ben, a spring salmon (Dmf. 1825 Jam., s.v. Ben; Gall. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.). See Ben, n.5; (2) warclost [misreading for -close], the end of spring; (3) ware-day, the first day of spring (Uls. 1953 Traynor, s.v. Voar). Comb. lang war day, see Lang, adj., 6. (58); (4) wairie, of weather: cold, hard, bleak, unproductive (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 355); (5) ware-quarter, the season of spring, the months of February to April (Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 89); (6) ware-time, spring (Peb., Rxb., Slk. 1825 Jam.; Kcb. 1900). Also fig., the early period of one's life (Ib. Jam.)(2) Gall. 1703 Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 119:
This was in warclost a little before Mayday.
(3) Dmf. 1861 R. Quinn Heather Lintie 157:
In winter, anent her, The birds resume their ware day sang.
Uls. 1899 S. MacManus Chimney Corners 159:
Hire till the Ware-day comes round again.
(5) Wgt. 1711 Session Bk. Wigtown (1934) 175:
Aprill 20th to Alexander Reid for Ware quarter . . . £1.
Wgt. 1762 Session Papers, Cutlar v. M'Clellan (10 Jan.) 14:
Mrs Cutlar died the Wair Quarter preceeding the said Term [Whitsunday].
(6) Slk. 1820 Hogg Tales (1865) 109:
I fleechyt Eleesabett noore to let us torfell in the waretyme of owir raik.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 37:
Many a farmer leaves pieces of work in spring and the summer to be done in the backen; but when that period arrives, they are still left undone, perhaps to the next waurtime.
Kcb. c.1880 Vale of Urr Verses MS.:
The ware time is sair time.

[O.Sc. ware, c.1375, id., Gen.Sc. form, now almost entirely confined to sm.Sc., from O.N. vár, id. For I.Sc. forms see Voar.]

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"Ware n.4". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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