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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.

WIND, n.1, v.1 Also Sc. forms wynd (Sh. 1740 Diary J. Mill (S.H.S.) 2), wynt; win (Ayr. 1785 Burns There was a Lad ii., Abd. 1884 D. Grant Lays 109; Dmf. 1894 R. Reid Poems 59; m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 44; Uls. 1953 Traynor; ne.Sc. 1974); ween (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 81; Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (7 Oct.), Bnff., Abd. 1974); wund (wm.Sc. 1829 Laird of Logan (1854) 473) Sc. 1881 Stevenson Thrawn Janet; Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, Rxb. 1942 Zai; Uls. 1953 Traynor), wun (Dmf. 1816 Scots Mag. (May) 348; Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 72, Mry. 1883 F. Sutherland Memories 158, Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 138; Ayr. 1923 Wilson D. Burns 194; Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. III. 35, wm.Sc. 1974); wuin. For adj. see Windy. [wɪnd; ne., wm.Sc. wm; wm., sm.Sc. wʌn; Bnff. win]

I. n.

Sc. forms of Eng. wind.Sc. 1979 T. S. Law in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 81:
... or the staurs can skinkle in time wi the singin o the wuins ...
m.Sc. 1979 George Campbell Hay in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 86:
I am mair dwaibly nor dwaibly itsel,
I am mair auld nor auld;
ma neb is blae; the wund is snell.
What is't? I hae a cauld.
Lnk. 1982 Duncan Glen in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 56:
Glaur and wet and mair wet in burns
to be crossed. Wund and cauld
and caulder and wundier at the tap.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 44:
Skellets chitter in a licht
nae dawin wrocht - a dreel o wund
vainishin intae a gloweret lift;
air is fire; banes sowther.
Slk. 1991 Harvey Holton in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 134:
The wunds noo are wailian, sodden wi snaw drift,
the licht draps doon early like the hind aff the hill
an wi them wanders, doon tae the laich land,
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 16:
In this citie o whispers
Doon daurk, smokey vennels
Windin, we reached the Jewish quarter.
A Golem rins fae the graveyard
An the win is readin quate
In the sma synagogue.

Sc. usages:

1. In phrs.: (1) atween the win and the wa, between wind and wave, between the horns of a dilemma, in a quandary, from one alternative to another. See also Waw, n.2; (2) fairies' ween, a swirl or eddy of wind raising dust on a road as if some unseen traveller was passing along; (3) in the wind, over and done with, gone with the wind; (4) (in)to the wind, setting one's face to the wind, starting off on a journey; (5) ower the wind, out of temper (Ork. 1974); drunk (Kcd. 1974); (6) to blaw win in one's lug, to flatter (Ayr. 1930). See also Lug, n.1, 8.(7); (7) to brak the win, of a medicament: to act as a carminative, to relieve flatulence (Sh., Cai., Abd. 1974). Obs. in Eng.; (8) to lat the win in (amang) it, — intil't, to squander, dissipate one's money or resources (ne.Sc. 1974); (9) to put the win in the bag o' to fill the pockets of, make money for; (10) to sit in or upon a (the) wind, to sit in a draught; (11) to temper one's nose to the east win as weel's the south, to take the bad with the good, the rough with the smooth; (12) wind and watertight, proof against wind and rain or flood, esp. of a house, and commonly used in leases. Gen.Sc. Now obs. in Eng.(1) Sc. 1705 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) I. 76:
I was tossed between win' and wave anent the Church.
(2) ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 65:
The whirlwind that raises the dust on roads is called “a furl o' fairies' ween.”
(3) Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff .206:
Mines is a' in the wun [of a broken engagement].
(4) Abd. 1967 Fraserburgh Herald (20 Jan.):
I into the win' and ran. . . . We baith to the win' an' awa' hame.
(8) Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 20:
The midder o' 'im keeps a gey bit hoose bit A'm thinkin' the young billie's lattin the win' intill't.
(9) Lnk. 1865 J. Hamilton Poems 151:
Wad ye think it was they put the win' i' the bag, O' the big millionaires?
(10) Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. xxii.:
She wondered why Miss Clara Moubrie didna wear that grand shawl . . . and her just sitting upon the wind of a door.
Abd. 1973:
Shift your cheer roun a bit. Ye're sittin in the win o the door.
(11) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxi.:
Them 't sets to coortin' the lasses maun temper their nose to the east win as weel's the south.
(12) Sc. 1896 W. K. Morton Manual 128:
The landlord must keep the premises in tenantable repair (practically wind and watertight) during the lease.

2. Combs.: (1) wind-ball, (i) an inflated ball; (ii) a breaking of wind behind, in phr. To fire a windball; (2) win-bell, a ringing sound in the ear thought to presage a change in the wind (Mry. 1974); (3) wind-bill, a bill of exchange drawn as a means to raise credit and not against goods and services, a bill which negotiates a loan of money, an accommodation bill (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (4) win-blawn, of a horse: broken-winded (Kcb. 1934; Cai., Fif. 1974); (5) win-cairdit, combed by the wind, of cirrhus clouds, resembling wool after carding; (6) win carnal ( < wind-kernel), a boil, swelling, imposthume, supposedly caused by wind. See Kirnel, 2. and (15) below; (7) win-casten, -cassen, blown down by the wind, lit. and fig. (Sh., ne., wm.Sc. 1974); (8) win-chap, a rising swell in the sea. See Chap 5.; (9) wind-cock, a toy windmill (Cai. 1905 E.D.D., Cai. 1974); fig. a person of unstable character, a ‘weather-cock' (Ib.); (10) win-contered, of growing grain: twisted this way and that by the wind. See Conter, v.; (11) wind-craw, see 1905 quot. Cf. tattie-bockie s.v. Tattie, 1.(9); (12) wind cuffer, the kestrel, Falco tinnunculus (Ork. a.1795 G. Low Fauna Orcad. (1813) 37, 1866 Edm. Gl.), prob. a met. form of Eng. windfucker, id. Cf. also Eng. windhover, id.; (13) windfeed(er), a shower of rain which is followed by an increase of wind (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh., Ork., Cai. 1974). Cf. Feed, v., 3.; (14) wind-flaucht, adv., with the force or speed of wind (Sc. 1808 Jam.). See Flaucht, adv.; (15) windgaw, wungall, a lump on the head (Dmf. 1952); “a tumour on the sole of the foot” (Bwk. 1825 Jam.). Cf. (6) and Eng. windgall, a soft tumour on a horse's leg; (16) win-kill, a hollow left in a hay- or grain-stack to help ventilation and prevent heating (Mry. 1825 Jam.). See Kill, n.1, 3.; (17) win-mull, a windmill (ne.Sc. 1974). Also fig., a notion, fancy, whimsy. Now rare or obs. in Eng., poss. orig. in allusion to Don Quixote; (18) windpipes, the bagpipe, in children's riddle; (19) wind-punds, the meadow soft-grass, Holcus lanatus (Ork. 1956). See Pund, n.2; (20) win(d)-raw, wun-raw, a row or line into which mown hay is raked or in which small piles of cut peats are set to help drying (Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Dmf. 1930, wunraw; wm.Sc. 1974); also used as a v., to arrange hay or peats in windrows. Vbl.n. windrawin; (21) wind-shorn, of the skin: chapped, cracked (Fif. 1974). See Shear, v., 2.; (22) windskew, -scue, ¶-squi (Abd. 1847 Gill Binklets 24), a smoke-deflector in a chimney, a chimney cowl (Kcd. 1808 Jam.; Ork., ‡Abd. 1974). Also transf. of a tall building, or of a flighty, restless person (Abd. 1952). Ppl.adj. wind-skewed, “under the influence of fascination, so as to see objects double or at least very indistinctly” (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 359). See Skew, v.2, 3. and cf. Winnelskewed, of which this is prob. a variant; (23) wind-spe(a)l, a toy propeller, windmill or whirligig (Sh. 1974); ‡(24) wind-sucker, “the name given to a horse that is accustomed to fill his stomach with wind, by sucking the manger; in England called a crib-biter” (Slk. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1974); (25) wind-waved, of wheat: having the stem twisted and the roots loosened by wind.(1) (i) Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 89:
Whin dey danced it was just like as mony wind baa's jimpin' fae da ert.
(ii) Ayr. 1818 J. Kennedy Poet. Wks. 88:
Spread his arms, bow'd low and trembl'd, Fir'd a wind ball.
(3) Sc. 1793 R. Heron Journey W. Scot. II. 189:
The country people are, by the same unnecessary multiplication of piddling banking-houses, seduced to supply themselves with money, by the ruinous expedient of wind-bills.
Sc. 1796 Session Papers, Bell v. Dawson (1 Sept.) 2:
This was a wind-bill, granted for the mere accommodation of Ormiston.
Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate iv.:
He would have got a bank-credit, manoeuvred with windbills.
m.Lth. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller xix.:
We had started into business with no property, excepting a few wind-bills.
Ags. 1859 Arbroath Guide 4:
Leave men o' straw to speculate And ‘wind-bills' to ilk ither grant.
(5) Abd. 1920 C. Murray Country Places 41:
Syne on the Mither Tap sae far Win'-cairdit clouds drift by abeen.
(6) Arg. 1882 Arg. Herald (3 June):
It hov't an swall't the bouk o' a wincarnal.
(7) Abd. 1920 C. Murray Country Places 2:
Astride on a win'-casten larick he sat.
Abd. c.1930 B. R. McIntosh MS. Verses:
I'm jist a peer win-cassen cratur, Pervertit an' sinfu' by natur'.
(8) Bnff. 1950 P. Anson Fisherfolk 38:
At Portessie the swell before a storm was known as the “win' chap.”
(10) Kcd. 1921 T.S.D.C.:
Isn't Quithel's barley sair win-countered?
(11) Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 254:
Foo I did strip ower da stanks an stripes just laek a windcraw.
Sh. 1905 E.D.D.:
A large potato is stuck full of pens (wing-feathers — say of a gull) and thrown outside when the wind is blowing hard. It will drive and jump before the breeze with great speed, and boys consider it quite a feat to be able to catch the wind-craw.
(13) Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 58:
Hit wis juist a scaar o' wind-feed frae da sudwast.
(14) Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 143:
At it, swap! baith horse and man, Windflaucht thegither rasch'd and ran.
Bnff. 1852 A. Harper Solitary Hours 69:
The wheels gaed windflaught, glad, I ween, To want the burden of the stane.
(17) Abd.4 1931:
Ye've an awfu' win'-mulls in your heid.
(18) Ags. 1911 Rymour Club Misc. 223:
Ga'en doon the Double Dykes Wi' a pair o' wind pipes.
(20) Sc. 1776 Kames Gentleman Farmer 152:
Rake it [hay] into a number of parallel rows along the field, termed wind-rows.
Peb. 1802 C. Findlater Agric. Peb. 209:
The operation of wind-rowing, or the building them [peats] up in narrow heaps, or fragments of dikes.
Sc. 1832 Chambers's Jnl. (June) 151:
The peats are collected and built into wind-raws and rickles — small heaps, that is, through which the wind sifts.
Abd. 1868 G. Gall MS. Diary (6 July):
Windrawing the hay and colling it.
Abd. 1950 Buchan Observer (11 July):
The spreading and setting [of peats] in windrows, or ricklets to dry.
(21) Sc. 1949 People's Journal (29 Oct.):
Most people have their favourite application for “wind shorn” and hacked hands.
(22) Sc. 1712 Burgh Rec. Gsw. . (B.R.S.) 485:
Not to have any regaird to William Gemmells windscue which comes too far out.
m.Lth. 1757 Session Papers, Pringle v. Pringle (31 July 1764) 33:
The wind skews to be also ash.
Ags. 1859 Arbroath Guide (3 Dec.) 4:
A win' skew cam bang ower the spot whare he stood.
Abd. 1895 J. Davidson Ministers 108:
If a cowl were needed, a shovel-like instrument, called a “win' skew” projected, and could be moved to catch the wind by means of its handle, which hung down the chimney.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (11 Nov.):
I held on til' a stane i' da wind-skew.
ne.Sc. 1929 J. B. Philip Weelum o' the Manse 42:
The roof was high and steep and, worse than that, the chapel was Episcopal. This drew words from Weelum, “Whatna wind-skew o' a kirk is that?”
(23) Sh. 1915 Shetland News (21 Oct.):
Whan a lump wid strikk da boat up o da wadder bow shu wid twist an shiver lek a windspeal.
Sh. 1928 Shetland Times (14 July) 3:
Dey hed white wings growin oot frae dir heds laek muckel windspels.
(25) Bwk. 1813 R. Kerr Agric. Bwk. 233:
In years of peculiarly windy weather, the stem, where it enters the earth, is often blown about in a whirling manner, forming a kind of conical hollow, and the coronal roots become detached from their connexion with the soil; this is provincially called wind-waved.

3. Breath, the air breathed. Gen.Sc. Phrs. the wind o life, id.; to keep or save one's wind to cool one's kail, = Eng. ‘to save one's breath to cool one's porridge', an invitation to hold one's tongue, not to waste words (Sh., Cai., Abd., Ags., Per. 1974).Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 240:
She begg'd for peace to draw her win.
Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 123:
I let the Muse e'en tak her win, And dash awa thro thick an thin.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 25:
There's no a human cratur drawing the wun o' life now that I ken'd in my young days.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller ii.:
An' O, it's scant o' pith an' win' To climb steep wyn's.
Ayr. c.1855 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage (1892) 197:
Saving win' to cool our kail.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 140:
A man juist blaws the gless intae shape wi' his mooth. “Odd! Mrs. D —,” exclaimed Tam, “the falla that blew that yin maun hae been fearfu' short in the wun'.”
Uls. 1897 W. G. Lyttle Robin Gordon 60:
Ye may keep yer win' tae cool yer kail.
ne.Sc. 1973:
Juist wait or I get my win back.

4. Breath as used for speaking; hence (1) talk, speech, what one has to say. See also Ill-wind.Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace viii. v.:
The Earl Buchan, tender but, and young He did obtain for the wind of his Tongue.
Abd. 1784 R. Forbes Ajax 5:
'Tis better then, the cause we try Wi' the wind o' our wame, Than for to come in hanny grips.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 32:
Gif ye hired at Beltan, there would be ither words amang your win' or auld Halla' day.
Ayr. 1896 G. Umber Idylls 47:
Heedless people who “mun hae their win' oot, come o't what wull.”

(2) a boast, brag, also a boaster, braggart (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 209, ween; Sh. 1974).Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 40:
The tane gae oot with meikle Wind, His Beauty 'boon the brutal Kind.
Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 118:
I never in my life, Sir, heard sic win'.
Sc. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 242:
From the wind of the Murrays, Good Lord deliver us! — wind, in Scottish phraseology, signifying a propensity to vain and foolish bravado.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xii.:
For a' his wind, Mr McKickie was naething better than a tailor like mysel'.

5. Fame, prestige, kudos. Obs. in Eng.Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 16:
Ajax gets little wind by that To bear awa' the horn.

6. Mood, spirits.Ayr. 1883 W. Aitken Lays 128:
There's something by orner adae — A something that's put them in unco guid win'.

7. In pl., with or without def. art.: rheumatism, formerly thought to be caused by wind in the joints or muscles.Abd. 1909 J. Tennant Jeannie Jaffray 223:
To inquiries for her health her usual reply was — “Oh, brawly, gin 'twarna for the ‘win's'.”
Abd.13 1910:
Aa foo o' wins.

II. v. 1. To winnow (Uls. 1929; Ork. 1974). Also in Eng. dial.Per. 1711 Atholl MSS.:
A riddle ane sive and winding weight.
Abd. 1722 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 94:
There is no canvacess for woning the firr seed.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Halloween xxi.:
Meg faen wad to the barn gaen, To winn three wechts o' naething.
Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballads 201:
She'll win in your barn at bear-seed time.

2. To talk extravagantly, to exaggerate, boast (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 209, ween). Hence n. winder, a boaster, braggart (Sc. 1808 Jam.); vbl.n. windin, weenan, a harangue, the act of boasting, ppl.adj. weenin, boastful (Gregor).Ags. 1833 J. S. Sands Poems 142:
Two worthies, o'er a bottle of the best, were “windin” of their skill in gunnery.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 24:
Ey! ye weenin' chackart, that's nae true it ye're saying'.
Bnff.6 c.1920:
He's a peer weenin' crater.
Abd. 1928 Word-Lore III. 148:
Johnnie windit aboot settin “auchty score huner thooson” kail plants.

[O.Sc. windball, football, 1587, wind-flaucht, 1513, windskeu, 1586.]

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"Wind n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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