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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.

WORSET, n. Also worsett, -it, -at, -ad (Cai. 1905 E.D.D.); wurset, -it; wirset, -it, -id (Sh.); worstit, ¶worstert (Sc. 1699 Edb. Gazette (14 Dec.)), wurstit (wm.Sc. 1934 T. Smellie Mrs Goudie's Tea-Pairty 42); ¶wosten (Sc. 1707 Records Conv. Burghs (1880) 431). Sc. forms of Eng. worsted, the material, worsted yarn, a piece of worsted cloth, and attrib., made of worsted (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. [′wʌrsət, Cai. -ɑd; Sh. ′wɪrsɪd]Sc. 1700 Acts Parl. Scot. X. 220:
The manufactory of worsett and other stuffs.
Sc. 1704 Essay in Defence of Stuff-Manufactories 27:
Silk Improvers who can contrive, alter, form, and manage, relating to both the Silk and Wo'sted Trade, that Worset Weavers has not Sense or Art to do.
Ork. 1728 H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I. 135:
Sixe pounds of whit worset to be disposed of.
Sc. 1734 J. Dunbar Industrious Country-Man 13:
Our Women wear now Silk, instead of Worset-Plaids of our own Manufacture.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Halloween xiii.:
Her braw new worset apron.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvi.:
A coat a' passemented wi' worset-lace.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 116:
But, Lord be thankit, wit can live, Aneth a worset bonnet.
Peb. 1860 W. Watt Poems 188:
Auld Mungo was gash, Wore a grey worsit wig on his time-polish'd pash.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (23 Dec.):
Ta redd oot a raevl 'at wis fa'n in her wirsit.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 129:
The Bible wus tie't thegither wi a red worstit threed.
Abd. 1957 Bon-Accord (7 March):
The win' whuppit me roun' the ga'le o' the hoose as gin I'd been a wirsit-cloo.
Gsw. 1972 Molly Weir Best Foot Forward (1974) 200:
Describing a bus conductor who'd infuriated him, one of my brother's mates had said, 'He wis wan o' thae fullas wi' eyes a' sewn wi' rid worset.' When I translated this as 'One of those fellows whose eyes were all sewn with red wool', a perfect description of red-rimmed eyes, the typists fell about holding their sides, ...
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 48:
Cauld gnawed throw her worsit mochles an Jack Frost nippit her wee creashie taes till they dirled.

[O.Sc. wirset, 1375.]

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"Worset n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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