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Stirk, Styrk, n. Also: stirke, stirc-, stirck, sterk, steirk, stark, strik. [ME and e.m.E. stirk (1377), styrk (c1425), strik (1448-9), OE stírc, stíorc, stýrc, stýric, appar. a dimin. of stéor Ster(e n.]

A young bovine, specif., a bullock or heifer between one and two years old. Also pl., young cattle generally. (1) Infracomputando quatuor stirkis pro vno marto; 1329 Exch. R. I 193.
Haberet dictam vaccam vel precium … xii s. cum uno stirk; 1398 Aberd. B. Rec. (SHS) 31.
[Summa stircorum xjcxxv; c1450 Reg. Neubotle 242.]
The wrangwis … awaytaking … of … xv stirkis; 1482–3 Acta Conc. II cxvi.
Aucht stirkis, the price of the pece v s.; 1496 Acta Conc. II 20.
The sade Archibald tuke in contentacione ane ox, a cow, a calf and a stirk at hir fute for the sade horse; 1499–1500 Acta Conc. II 360.
His wow his lamb his cheis his stirk; Rowll Cursing 27 (B).
Item witht the scheiphird of ane yeir auld, ij stirkis; 1505 Exch. R. XII 288 n.
On the nycht quhilk stall thow staigis and stirkis; Kennedy Flyt. 428 (M).
Jok, that wes wont to keip the stirkis, Can now draw him ane cleik of kirkis; Dunb. (STS) xxii 66.
The stirkis for the sacrifice … War newly brittnit; Doug. v vi 75 (Sm.).
Stewart 43107.
Item, xxiiij stirks of twa ȝeir auld, cum Belton; 1547 Misc. Spald. C. V 311.
To provide ane kepare to the said hill auld vsit and wont, conforme to the actis of auld, that stirkkis caulffis and hors may be pasturit thairupone and na vther bestiale nouthir nycht nor day; 1557 Peebles B. Rec. I 236.
Hyr styrk com to his sled quhayr ane tartan of hys was and gnew and spylt his tartan quhilk wes worth fyf merkis; 1567–8 Inverness Rec. I 159.
Stirckis; 1568 Waus Corr. 40.
Then culd I nocht stand content of ane kow Without I gat the best stirk of the bow; Duncan Laideus Test. 153.
Euerie twalf pairt man sall hald only aucht heidis of auld nowt & hors allowand twa stirkis for the auld beist wpone his in girs; 1607 Inverurie B. Ct. 14 May.
[The cow] … ran wode with the stirk up and down the land and could hardly be gotten in again; 1649 Sc. N. & Q. III 123.
With the sweeping of the house she did cast out some muck from stirks that stood beside the fyre; 1657 Boharm Kirk S. 8 March.
Magdalen day … is good to buy … stirks or yong stotts or horse; Skene Agric. MS (ed.) 68.
A forrow kowe is a kow that gives milk but it is long since shoe calv'd swa that shoe hes a stirke a yeir old following; Skene Agric. MS (ed.) 68.
Some of you will grieve and greet more for the drowning of a bit calf or stirk than ever ye did for all the tyranny and defections of Scotland; 1679 Hay Fleming Six Saints I 124.
You answered you … had gott that stirk at the kirk styll; 1688 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII 248.
(b) Thre ky, … twa cowpindowis … and twa sterkis; 1484 Acta Conc. I *95/1.
The steirkis, quhen thay ar bot young velis, ar othir slane, or ellis libbit to be oxin; Bell. Boece I lv.
The sowme of xxxiiij s. as for the price of tua sterkis of tuelmonth auld; 1563 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 12 June.
That na ky, sterks, nor utheris beists except hors be pasturet upon the Gallowgrein; 1595 Paisley B. Rec. 162.
(c) He promeist nichtbourtie … and that the defender refuisit the same saying my oxin was onie stark aganis his & that he wald caus his simple beistis do his turne; 1603 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 43.
(d) Of strikis of ane ȝeir auld; 1566 Kinnaird Farm Bk. 51b.
Strik; 1588 Burntisland B. Ct. 15 Oct.
(2) Item the pasturyng of xij kye profeittis peis in butter cheis and styrk; 1534 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 120.
The proffitt of ilk pece of the said ky ȝeirlie estimate in stirk butter and cheis to xiij s. iiij d.; 1537 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) Culros v. Crawmond.
The profett of ilk kow in styrk mylk butter and cheis xiij s. iiij d.; 1550 Lanark Sheriff Ct. 38b.
Quhen all dewteis and teindis was dewlie payit, sic as lamb, woll, stirk, buttir, cheis; 1561–6 Book of Assumptions in Orig. Par. II ii 532.
[The vicarage of Anveth] with manse, kirk, gleib … small teindis, viz. lamb, wow, cheise, stirk, staig, guise, [etc.]; 1579–80 Reg. Privy S. VII 364/1.

b. With various qualifiers. Cowdoch, copno, copnoche, kownoches, variants of Colpindach n. (= a young cow, heifer, a young ox). (1) Thre ox beistis of twa yeir auld and ane ox stirk quhilkis gudis wes of the ferm stirkis [i.e. rents in kind] of Ardrossan; 1545 Eglinton Muniments in Sanderson Rural Soc. 22.
In the housis … thre oxin stirkis of twa ȝeir auld; 1563 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson 14a.
Ane ȝeir auld koye stirk price xx s.; 1564–75 Hamilton & Campsie Test. I 42b.
Ane cowdoch stirk; 1570 Edinb. Test. I 99b.
Twa copno stirkis, price of the pece xx s.; 1574 Edinb. Test. III 75b.
Ane brandit kow stirk; 1576 Edinb. Test. IV 281b.
Ane quy & tua copnoche stirkis of ane & tua ȝeir auld; 1581 Edinb. Test. IX 285.
Thrie kownoches stirkis of ane ȝeir auldis; 1584 Edinb. Test. XIII 245.
1 young bull stirk; 1612 Orkney Test. and Inv. 44.
Thrie quoyock stirkis; 1615 Orkney Test. and Inv. 36.
A broun hacked ox steirk; 1697 Brabster Rental in Old-lore Misc. VIII 8.
(2) Ane tolmout auld stirk; c1564 Glasgow Test. II 12.
Sex stirkis of ane and twa ȝeir auldis … twa soukand stirkis; 1567 Edinb. Test. I 38b.
He gaif ane greit pech lyke ane weill fed stirk; 1572 Sat. P. xxxiii 400.
On all slauchterit stirkis of aucht pund price or above, vi s. viij d.; 1644 Spalding II 312.
Six ky with their callfed stirks; 1681 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 15 Nov.
(3) Resseruand to the said Sir George the teynde styrkkis and cheis bigane; 1562 Anal. Scot. I 3.
The vicarage … would extend yeirlie to ten teynd lambis with alsmony fleisses of woll and four teynd stirkis or thairby; c1607 in Rep. Parishes 139.
All the kane stirkis; 1617 Montgomery Mem. 263.

c. attrib. and comb. The deuill ane stirk taill thairfoir sall ȝe haif; Henr. Fab. 2347.
Ane stirk follower; 1592 Edinb. Test. XXV 15.
That part of the stirk hous quhilk wes brokin be the men that gat away; 1593 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 506.
Stirk skynnis; 1605 Edinb. Test. XL 367.
Tua daiker stirk skines; 1616 Edinb. Test. XLIX 204b.
[Reserving herefrom his own dwelling house], … the stirk house and the Gavill byre [etc.]; 1696 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 633 (23 April).
Ilk stirk skin, 2 d.; 1698 Lanark B. Rec. 262.

d. transf. ? A young and clumsy or countrified person. My strummill stirk, ȝit new to spane; Dunb. (OUP) 42/54.
Thou art a stirk, for all thy staitly stylis; Montg. Sonn. lxx 13.
Angus McDonald alias the young hatked stirk; 1669 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. III 75.

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"Stirk n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/stirk>



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