Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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STACHER, v., n. Also stagher (Jam.), staucher, stocher; staicher; stackar, -er. [′stɑxər, ′st-]

I. v. 1. intr. To stagger, stumble about, totter, walk unsteadily (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen. (exc. Sh.) Sc. Ayr. 1785  Burns Cotter's Sat. Night iii.:
The expectant wee-things, toddlan, stacher through To meet their Dad wi' flichterin noise and glee.
Slg. 1818  W. Muir Poems 6:
My wordy bachles, aft wi' you I've stackard thro' the dirt, when fou.
Sc. 1831  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 266:
Keeps stoiterin and stacherin, and tumblin.
Bnff. 1869  W. Knight Auld Yule 225:
Some hae stacker'd into holes.
Rnf. 1872  J. Young Lochlomond Side 166:
When staucherin' fou He fell an' brack his leg.
Sc. 1887  Stevenson Underwoods 79:
The hale concern . . . Noo stachers upon lowsent legs.
Dmf. 1894  J. Cunningham Broomieburn 98:
Staicherin sae muckle he could hardly stan'.
Abd. 1900  C. Murray Hamewith 46:
When auld Age stachers into view.
Sc. 1926  Scots Mag. (Nov.) 95:
Stocherin to his feet, an' brushing the dust aff his claes.
Rxb. 1955  Abd. Univ. Review (Aut.) 143:
His fit ne'er stauchers on the road.
Sc. 1964  Weekly Scotsman (29 Oct.) 10:
Ewes with wee stachering lambs.

2. tr. To make to stagger, to stupefy with surprise, amaze. Rare and prob. an adaptation of Eng. stagger sim. used. Ayr. 1913  J. Service Memorables 193:
The doings had so stauchered the minds o' folk in Kilwinning.
wm.Sc. 1925  D. Mackenzie Macmorro's Luck 30:
Syne solemnly she shook her heid wi' “No!” That stachert him as wi' a sudden blow.

II. n. A stumble, stagger, false step, lit. and fig. (ne.Sc., em.Sc. (a), Ayr., Wgt. 1971). Adj. staucherie, unsteady in gait, tottery (Ib.). Ayr. 1870  J. K. Hunter Life Studies 271:
An attempt to ease the foot produced a stacher.
Wgt. 1878  “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 358:
He gied a great stacher and fell spraucheling on the floor.
Abd. 1922  Swatches o' Hamespun 81:
We're a' redd t' mak' a bit stacher.
m.Sc. 1929  Scots Mag. (May) 149:
Her staucherie auld legs gied wey wi' her.

[Variant of O.Sc. (a.1400), Mid.Eng. stacker, stakker, O.N. stakra, to stagger. For -ch cf. dacher, Dacker, fichle, Fickle, sprackle, Sprauchle, etc.]

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"Stacher v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <>



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