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March 14, 2022

Ill-Willie /il ˈwil-ee / adj.

Definition: Ill-Willie is a Scottish term that means to have an unpleasant disposition. Using the word ill-Willie is describing a person who has a mean-spirited or disagreeable personality type. Someone described as an ill-Willie is spoken of in negative terms.

We believe ill-Willie people are ill-natured and unlikeable by other people. An example of a familiar ill-Willie in recent history is the character Ebenezer Scrooge from the Charles Dickens novel ” A Christmas Carol,” published in 1843.

Etymology: We first see recorded use of the word ill-Willie in a handful of texts written during the 15th-Century. The next time we see the word commonly used is in Scottish Dialect and Middle English around 1868. 

Etymologists and historians believe the word originated in Scottish dialect as a reference for someone with an unpleasant disposition and dislikable nature. The word is also associated with an alternate spelling as ill-willy.

In a Sentence

It disappointed the customer to reach a customer service representative with an ill-Willie personality.

The man’s ill-Willie wife often made him think about getting a divorce.

He didn’t have very many friends because of his ill-Willie nature.


Disagreeable, Irksome


Pleasant, Agreeable


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