Friday, 11 December 2009


williewaught (Scottish) n a deep draught. [From misunderstanding of Burns, Auld Lang Syne, 4.3, 'a right guid willie) or guid-willie) waught' (where 'guide willie' means 'good will'), a generous and friendly draught] Chambers, 1998

Mmm. Another word based on a misunderstanding. I'm starting to see a pattern. Will look forward to my next williewaught in the pub later (the "augh" bit is pronounced like "loch"), though it's not to be confused with a williwaw:

williwaw n a gust of cold wind blowing seawards from a mountainous coast, eg in the Straits of Magellan; a sudden squall; a tumult or disturbance. [Origin uncertain] Chambers, 1998

Looking out of the window, I expect I'll experience a williwaw on my way to a williewaught later tonight.

Actually, saying "origin unknown" for williwaw may not be entirely correct. Further down the page there's an entry for the not entirely dissimilar "willy-willy":

willy-willy (Australian) n a cyclone. [Aboriginal] Chambers, 1998

Just a coincidence? Surely that implies they're both Australian then? I'm starting to feel a bit like it's me vs the dictionary, which is odd. Fun, though.

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