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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.

WHAR, adv. Also whaur (Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales of the Glens 183; Ayr. 1838 J. Morrison McIlwham Papers 7; Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 181; Sc. 1889 Stevenson M. of Ballantrae i.; Ags. 1899 Barrie W. in Thrums v.; w.Lth. 1910 J. White Eppie Gray 10; Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 37), whaar (Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 49, 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1974), whor (Uls. 1897 A. McIlroy When Lint was in the Bell v., 1928 Irish Breeder 18), whoar (Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 121); whare (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shep. (S.T.S.) 181, Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 88; Ayr. 1786 Burns To a Louse i.; Sc. 1823 Lockhart Reg. Dalton III. 111), whair-. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. where (Rnf. 1801 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 22; Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxiv.; Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 57; Fif. 1841 C. Gray Lays 133; Ags. 1846 P. Livingston Poems (1855) 82; Abd. 1920 G. P. Dunbar Guff o' Peat Reek 19; Sh. 1926 Shetland Times (4 Dec.)). n.Sc. freq. employs whar in liter. use in place of the reg. dial. form Far, adv.2 [ʍɑ:r, ʍǫ:r; em.Sc. (b) and s.Sc. have now usu. ʍe:r]em.Sc. 1979 Alan Bold in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 38:
Noo lang ago a ghaistie cam'
Tae tell whaur it was hid,
An' a shepherd laddie made a tryst
Tae dae what he was bid.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 9:
Riftin', dozent and weel-fed
He left the empty dishes, socht his bed
Whaur he slept a' nicht unfashed wi' guilt
Fartin' ablow the feather quilt.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 20:
land whaur gien choice the people turnt aboot,
wrung oot o spreit like onie saft cloot,
land o ice whaur wi sair hauch
the auld dee cauld, land o the drukken droch.
Edb. 1995 Irvine Welsh Marabou Stork Nightmares (1996) 178:
He wis naewhere near the worse. But he wis thair, right thair in the pub whair I let him sweat for a little.
Lnk. 1998 Duncan Glen Selected New Poems 11:
I see the peaks of Lomond, East and West and Bishop hill.
A bond? Whaur Forth's saund?
My eyes follow long and varied line created by licht and laund
mair vibrant than ony frae artist's haund.

Sc. usages in combs., freq. forming relatives and nouns: 1. whaur-aboots, where-abouts (Abd. 1887 W. Carnie Waifs 17, 1935 D. Rorie Lum Hat 30; I.Sc., Cai., Per., wm. Sc. 1974); 2. whereanent, concerning which. on account of which, freq. in legal use, obsol. See Anent, 1. (4); 3. wha(u)rawa, where-awa(y), in or to what place, where on earth, whither (Knr. 1895 H. Haliburton Dunbar 27; Ags., Per., Ayr. 1974). See also Awa, 9. (7); 4. wha(a)rby, whereby (Dmb. 1817 J. Walker Poems 72); whereas; 5. wha(u)re(v)er, wherever (Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii.; Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems 43; Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 10; Edb. 1916 J. Fergus The Sodger 30; Abd. 1917 D. G. Mitchell Clachan Kirk 48); 6. whar(e)for(e), wherefore, why (Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling III. 51; Abd. 1879 G. MacDonald Sir Gibbie xxxiii.); 7. wha(u)rfrae, where-, wherefrom, whence (Sh. 1974). Also as a n., the source, origin, cause; 8. whairin. wherein (Rxb. 1740 Proc. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1913) 51; 9. wharof, whereof (Dmb. 1817 J. Walker Poems 81); 10. wharon, whereon; also used elliptically as a n., the means whereon to live, the wherewithal (Ork. 1929 Marw.); 11. whar-pairt, = 12. (Sh. 1974); 12. whar-piece, where, whereabout, where on earth (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1974), almost universally displacing whar uncompounded; 13. wherethrow, through or by reason of which, whereby. See Throu; 14. whaur til, whither, to what place. Liter.; 15. wha(a)rt(e)u, whare to, for what purpose, why, wherefore (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.; I.Sc. 1974). Also as a n., the reason, cause. Obs. in Eng.; 16. wharwi', wherewith, with or by means of which. Also wharewitha'. Arch. in Eng.2. Abd. 1746 Burgh Rec. Abd. (B.R.S.) 383:
The dean of gild to pay out the whole expenses, whereanent thir presents shall be warrant for the haill premises.
3. Sc. 1711 Speech for Mr Dundasse 3:
I sould have been hurry'd to the Tolbuith, and so on to my Trial, and God knaws whereawa afterwards.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 207:
An' do ye really ken the chiel! An' whar-awa's his dwallin?
Sc. 1834 Chambers's Jnl. (Feb.) 25:
What's wrang? Ony body up the water? Whereaway, man?
Fif. 1883 W. D. Latto Bodkin Papers 25:
But whereawa' is the silk coverin' o't?
Lnk. 1887 A. Wardrop Midcauther Fair 240:
Whaur awa' the nicht, Johnnie?
4. Sh. 1933 J. Gray Lowrie 40:
Som' o' dem is flo'ered laek da manse gaerden, whaarby, i' da kyuntry, dir nae need o' pittin onything mair i' da window is maybe a bottle o' reedin' sweeties.
7. Edb. 1811 H. MacNeill Bygane Times 23:
Wharfrae they come, and what they are.
Sc. 1844 Songs for Nursery 13:
What gars the win' blaw? an' whar frae comes the rain?
Dmf. 1877 R. W. Thom Poems 22:
Tae see the wherefrae o' maist waes.
Sc. 1936 J. G. Horne Flooer o' Ling 41:
Guid only kens whaurfrae!
10. Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 35:
Sheu hed wharon, an' wus behauden tae nee bothy.
12. Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. v. 162:
Whaur piece, whaur piece? In his puggie, in his puggie.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
Whar-piece did thoo lay hid?
13. Lnk. 1707 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 5:
Wherethrow many debates and controversies hes arisen.
14. Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 31:
She tauld the friskie fairy thing Whairtill to flee on rapid wing.
Cai. 1872 M. McLennan Peasant Life 154:
Whaur till are ye jamphlin' noo?
15. Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 144:
But, whare-to did ye't, oman, lat me hear?
Ork. 1929 Peace's Almanac 138:
Dat's da wharteu am no washin' mine sin syne.
16. Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. I67:
Case we git wharewitha' to wink Wi' een as blue's a blawart Wi' straiks thir days!
Edb. 1811 H. Macneill Bygane Times 44:
[They] hae scarce wharwi' to keep in life.

Phr.: whaur's your ... noo?, So much for your ... [With reference to Whaur's yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?, Cry from a member of the audience at the first Edinburgh performance of John Home's tragedy Douglas 14 Dec 1756.]Sc. 1989 Scotsman 19 Jun 9:
All in all, however, the gallery has done us proud and though some may rush to the Wall shouting "Whaur's your Francis Bacon noo?" those of us less excitable can at least say here's tae us.
Sc. 1989 Scotsman 18 Nov 8:
So, Councillor Pat Lally, step forward and tell us true: what's the answer to the big 20 million question of "whaur's yir Eiffel Tower noo?"
Sc. 1998 Sunday Times 20 Sep :
Even after the vomit has been hosed off the document's prose, it still befuddles, with its massaged nouns and nebulous verbs: "In a world characterised by globalisation," it states, "sustainable growth now depends on the capacity to innovate. In the new world order, Scotland's culture is its greatest natural resource." Whaur's yer North Sea oil noo?
Sc. 1999 Daily Record 11 Feb 13:
They are getting their knee-breeches and gaiters in a twist because there are no preparations in train for a full State ceremony, with the Queen and hangers-on playing spot-the-silliest-outfit, on July 1. Whaur's yer 'people's parliament' noo?
Sc. 2001 Scotland on Sunday 8 Jul 14:
On last Sunday's Holyrood programme on BBC2, the presenter made token reference to Dewar's will, asking the Scottish Labour Minister appearing whether this issue was something we should be looking at. Predictably, the Minister thought it was not, so there the matter rested. Whaur's yer Jeremy Paxman noo?
Sc. 2004 Scotsman 13 May 18:
Popping into the tourist board office in Oban recently, Grace purchased a copy of Allan Morrison's book, a compilation of historical events in Scotland over the last millennium, entitled Whaur's yer Wullie Shakespeare Noo?
The till receipt was abbreviated - quite innocently, we are sure - to Whaur's yer Wullie?
Sc. 2004 Sunday Herald 8 Aug 22:
"Who owns this landscape?" he asked in his poem A man In Assynt. ... Compared to a lump of rock we are simply grains of sand in an infinity of desert. Whaur's yer Freddy Nietzsche noo?
Sc. 2004 Scotsman 30 Sep 8:
... John Home's play Douglas provoked member of the audience to shout "Whaur's yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?"

[Whar derives from the short vowel forms O.E. hwar, O.N. hvar.]

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"Whar adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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