Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ONSTEAD, n. Also -steed (Zai), and deriv. -steading. The houses and buildings forming a farm-stead (e.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1942 Zai.; s.Sc. 1964); a cluster of farm-workers' houses or the like. Cf. Onset, Steading. [′onstɛd; Rxb. -stid] e.Lth. 1713  Country-Man's Rudiments 30:
Plant round all your Yards with Ash and Elm-trees . . . and in Time they will serve to keep up the whole Onstead of Houses.
Abd. 1748  Abd. Journal (17 May):
Alexander Cheyne lately Indweller and Inhabitant in the Village or Onstead at or near the Miln of Macterry in the Parish of Fyvie.
Rxb. 1768  Session Papers, Buccleugh v. Turnbull, etc. (10 March) 7:
Up to the North Side of the Syke, then East back of the Onstead of Closses.
Ayr. 1805  Hume Decisions (1839) I. 572:
The onstead, or dwelling-house on the lands.
Sc. 1816  Scott B. Dwarf xviii.:
A high narrow onstead of three stories, with a chimney at each end.
Dmf. 1830  W. Bennett Traits Sc. Life II. 186:
A search was leisurely made throughout and around the whole onsteading of houses.
Lnk. 1837  Trans. Highl. Soc. 370:
The erection of onsteads is always set about at the commencement of a lease.
Kcb. 1893  Crockett Raiders iv.:
As soon as ever I could get near the onstead for yowching dogs.
Bwk. 1897  R. M. Calder Poems 93:
Frae onsteads near the lads appear.

[On-, pref.1, + Stead.]

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"Onstead n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Oct 2018 <>



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