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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).

Sta(i)g, n. Also: sta(i)ge, staeg, styg. [North. ME and e.m.E. stag (1318), sstagge (Cath. Angl.), stage (1540), staige (1558), stagg (1565) a young horse, ME and e.m.E. straggon (?c1185), stagge (c1400), stage (1546), stag (1596) a male deer, a stag, OE *stacga (cf. dog < docga, etc.) prob. a male animal in its prime. Cf. ON steggi, steggr a male bird, mod. Icel. steggr a tom-cat.]

1. A young horse of one to three years, esp. one not broken or separated from the herd; sometimes distinguished as colt (Colt n.1 b), hors (Hors-staig n.), fyllie (Filly n.1), meir (Mere n.1 1 d), steid Sted(e n.2 1 c), staig qq.v. for further examples. b. attrib. With Ledder n.2, Lether n., Silver n. c1450 Reg. Neubotle 242.
Summa pullorum … Summa staggorum xxx vij
(1) 1456 Misc. Bann. C. III 93.
Item sex hors in Turbuster, and iiij ryddyn hors; Item xij merys and stagges
1456 Hay Geneal. Sainteclaires 92.
1478–9 Acta Aud. 74/2.
xij stokit meris and a stag of a ȝere auld
1495 Acta Conc. I 424/1.
Twa stagis a haknay & certane vtheris gudis
1498–9 Acta Conc. II 300.
[10 merks] for ane studemere and a stag
1503–4 Treas. Acc. II 415.
Of bridilsilver of the Inglis stag quhilk wes giffin to the King
1505 Treas. Acc. III 135.
Item, for iiij bos bittis to the Kingis staggis xij s.
1505 Treas. Acc. III 148.
Payit to Henry, lorymair, for ane byrne irn to the Kingis staggis, iij s.
1505 Treas. Acc. III 150.
To Johne Methven of Faukland for tua staggis hors to the King, v li.
1505 Treas. Acc. III 171.
Payit to the vicar of Kilgour the teynd silvir of the Kingis staggis
1507 Treas. Acc. III 382.
To James, avenar, to bring the Kingis meris and staggis fra Faukland to Strivelin
c1530-40 Stewart in Bann. MS 140b/7.
Tha monstrows mandraggis Wall myre ane studfull of staggis
(b) 1478–9 Acta Aud. 82/1.
[They] sall … paye … for a meir & a staig xl s.
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 428 (B).
Vndir nycht quhylis thow stall staigis and stirkis
1541 Treas. Acc. VII 442.
Ane standing hous to ane staig of the Kingis graces
1547 Misc. Spald. C. V 311.
xvij mare and staigs that is past a yeir auld, and x folis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 139.
Gif studis of horse or meiris, efter thay ar forbiddin to enter within the forest, be apprehendit thairin, it is leasum to the forestar to tak ane staig of ane ȝeir auld for the first time, and for the secund time ane staig being of twa ȝeir auld; for the thrid time, ane staig of thre ȝeir auld
1578 Sutherland Charters in Orig. Par. II ii 649.
The vicarage of Kilmaillie, with the … teinds … teindstirk, staig, and other emoluments
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 414 (T).
Sum [witches], in steid of ane staig, over ane stark munk straid
1586 Edinb. Test. XV 215b.
Ane broun naig by the broun beld staig tane to the hereald
1603 Reg. Great S. 514/2.
Pittie custumes … of ilk hors, meir or staig, 8 penneis
1606 Conv. Burghs II 221.
Of ilk staig viij d., of ilk ryddin hors tuelf penneis
1617 Montgomery Mem. 276.
For sex faddum towis to my Lordis blak staig
1617 Conv. Burghs III 47.
1642 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 24 March.
Twa naigs pryce of the peice [£10]; item ane meir and a staig [£10]
1672 Stitchill Baron Ct. 61.
Fyve pund ten shillings Scots mony as the agreed pryce of twa staiggs grass
(c) 1641 Stirling Chart. 148.
Pro vnoquoque equo, equa, aut equulo, lie staige, octo denarios
1678–9 Arbroath Old Doc. 13/2.
Anent the minister for ane horse and staige he did not pay … £1 10 s.
(d) 1697 Rental of Babster in Old-lore Misc. VIII i 204.
A year-old stage
(e) 1674 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 1 April.
2 young stygges
fig. a1689 Cleland 76.
There some old horse turned out of stable when young dames are at council table The fate of some were once dandillies, Might teach the younger stags and fillies Not for to trample poor cart-horse
(2) 1575 Edinb. Test. III 255b.
Ane steid staig
1588 Kinnaird Farm Bk. 69.
Send furth off Kynard off meiris staigis off thrie ȝier aldis—ij. Item send furth … ane hors staig off thrie ȝier ald
1612 Orkney Test. and Inv. 46.
1 staig, £5 … 1 mear staig, £3
1623 Douglas of Morton 736.
[His estate consists of five] hieland meiris [with a horse] staige [at £8 each]
1697 Rental of Brabster in Old-lore Misc. IX i 48.
A black mear and a pyed mear staige two yeir old
b. attrib. 1615 Edinb. Test. XLVIII 214.
Staig ledder gluifis at thrie pundis thretteine schillingis iiij d. the pair
1626 Edinb. Test. LIII 338.
Staige lether gloves at iiij merkis the paire
1641 Edinb. Test. LIX 285b.
Staige leather gloves weschine and vnweshine
1595 Edinb. Test. XXVIII 295b.
The saidis guidis geir dettis & friegeir … (by and attour the staig siluer abonewrittin)

2. = Staig ledder gluifis in b above. 1666 Thanes of Cawdor 320.
[Glover's account]. 1 pair of bukes for his own hand with linning … 1 pair of thin staigis for his own hand
1705 Old Ross-shire I 145.
A pair surgell staigs

3. In Stirling: ? Dues obtained from the horse fair held in the town, also ? horses received as a commission. Cf. however Stage n. 8 b.1671 quot. may have some connection with 2 above. 1520 Stirling B. Rec. I 4.
The stag and the ravenues of the fair was set to Duncan Smart
1524 Stirling B. Rec. I 19, 20.
Wille Aysoun hais tane the stagis and the ravenues of the fair for xvij merkis and x s. [And] the said provest … hais promisit to deliver and draw the best stagis that cumin in the stond to Wille Aysoun and warrand him … that na man sall have challance … to him
1520–62 Stirling B. Rec. I 301.
Staigs and revenues of the fair: 1520 September 3, [£10 3 s. 4 d.]; 1521 September 5 [£10 10 s.0 d.], etc.
1671 Stirling B. Rec. II 10.
The sumonds raised be the Earle of Callander against the towne for the allegit staig and shirreff gloves acclamed be him

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"Stag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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