Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Stak(e, Staik, n.1 Also: staick(e, stayk(e, staek, stea(c)k, steaik, stack, (stac), stalk, stok. [ME and e.m.E. stake (Layamon), stak (a1440), steyk (1534), OE staca, MDu., MLG stake, f. *stak, ablaut var. of *stek to pierce, thrust in.]

1. A post; ? a boundary marker; a pile or other heavy timber used in building. See also *Hoch-staik n. b. Stob and stake, see Stob n.2 2 c, also Stok n. 5 b. 1533 Bell. Livy I 62/19.
The fader … dang ane staik [L. tigillum] in the erde thortoure the gate … and … set him [sc. the son] doun vnder the said staik to signifie that he was vnder ȝoik of subieccioun
1535 Stewart 11737.
Ane stalwart brig of tre, … weill wone with mony staik and stowr
1535 Stewart 48285.
Stark as ony staik
1556 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 34b.
Thair wes ane staik affixt apone the said landis evin anenst the tovn of Levin
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Georgics ii 25.
Sudest, staikis
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Palus, ane gret staik
1606 Edinb. Test. XLII 219.
Twa hurle barrowis … harrowis staikis [etc.]
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 4.
Andrew of Tullibardin … hade pitched a staik, of set purpose in the midle of the stream to shew the Engleshmen the passage
1698 Edinb. Test. LXXX 312b.
Two ravell tries and twelf staiks worth 1 lb.
b. 1489 (1527–8) Reg. Great S. 120/1.
1513–14 Prestwick B. Rec. 45.
1529 Conv. Burghs I 510.
1559–60 Inverness Rec. I 42.
1580 Inverness Rec. I 287.

c. In weaving: ? A rod or bar used in measuring the length of the warp or of the warp threads.The chain referred to in the quot. for 1704 appar. is extant in Stirling Burgh Museum and measures ninety inches in length. 1623 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 242.
To Johnne Gros … for his worklumes in Sanct Paullis work extending to auchtein quheilles, ane flaik, ane warping staick, tua kames for sayes, seven reidis [etc.]
1672 Aberd. Trades 300.
All freemen of the said traid [sc. weaving] sall be sufficiently provided of weights, back, and broad, and elwand and staks be of sufficient weight and length, and to be sighted yearly by the deacon
1704 Stirling Weavers 37.
In staid of the former chain for measuring of the staikes, a new on be made consisting of four links and two rings [etc.]

d. fig. A support, a person who supports (one). 1540 Lynd. Sat. 1873 (B).
Gud counsale, now schaw me the best Sen I fix on ȝow thre my staikis, How sall I keip my realme in rest?
1567 G. Ball. 186.
O cankerit carionnis, and o ȝe rottin stakis, O stangand edderis, and o ȝe poisound snakis

2. a. A tethering post; passing into fig. use, a means of restraint. 1513 Doug. i Prol. 297.
Quha is attachit ontill a staik … May go na ferthir bot wreil about that tre
15.. Lichtoun Dreme 61 (M).
I saw thre quhyt quhalis … Thair thidder stakis wer maid of grene gers hair
15.. Lichtoun Dreme 63 (M).
Teddir staikis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7996.
O maryit men … ȝour heidis ar still bound till ane staik
1585 James VI Ess. 66.
Ȝe are bound, as to a staik, to follow that buikis phrasis, quhille ȝe translate
1587 Carmichael Etym. 8.
Stipes, a staik or baikie
c1590 J. Stewart 50/90.
Thay … left him linkit at ane staik
1609 Ellon Presb. 80.
He tuik ane staik of ane byre and threitinit to give hir als mekill
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 367.
In the byre … 12 set noult staicks

b. A post to which persons were tied to be executed, esp. by burning, ? once, a gibbet.Also attrib. as staik thiefe, ? a thief meriting execution.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xlvi 308.
The prefect … gert … a gret fire mak, & Anastace band til a stak, & brynt hire
a1500 Lanc. 474.
To gar tak Fyve of them one to the fir stak, And vther fyue be to the gibbot tone
1659 Sc. Ant. IV 119.
Will that it burn him be stake & stane
(b) 1538 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV 21.
To be wirreit at one staik quhill he be deid
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 206.
To be tane to the castell-hill … thair wirreit at ane staik, and thair body to be brunt
1595–6 Misc. Spald. C. V 63.
Fyre, pettis, and towis, witht ane staik, to execut and burne the witche
1600 Aberd. B. Rec. II 209.
The person convict thairof … sall be bund to ane staik within the floode merk during the space of thre houris quhill the water flow round about him
1629 Justiciary Cases I 115.
Thay being at the staik and the fyre biggit about thame they nevir vareit fra thair former confessioun
1629 Justiciary Cases I 139.
And eftir hir convictioun renewit and ratifeit be hir at the staik
c1650 Spalding I 268.
To cause strick aff Mr. George Lesleis richt hand at ane staik
c1650 Spalding I 374.
Ane of the Lord Sinkleris soldiouris, … wes had to the heiding hill, knyt to ane staik, and thrie soldiouris apoyntit … to schute thrie deid schottis at him
1661 Rec. of Old Tolbooth in Bk. Old Edinb. C. IV 143.
To be strangled att ane staicke till shee be deid
1675 Argyll Justic. Rec. 68.(c) 1679 Coll. Witchcraft 103.
attrib. 1527 Stirling B. Rec. I 30.
He callit him staik theife and commoun theife
(2) 1567 Digest Justiciary Proc. G 13.
The saidis … to be baithe hangit one ane staik to the deid

3. A post (ap)on which a person's severed head, or other part, was placed or fixed (as a warning, etc.).(a) c1420 Wynt. vi 536.
He gert … That hewyd apon a stayke [W. stake] be sete
1531 Bell. Boece II 149.
King Brudus returnit … with King Alpinis heid, and put it on ane staik … to be ane signe of his victory
1531 Bell. Boece II 275.
He … for unnaturall dispit, tuk up his [brother's] bonis, and set his heid apon ane hie staik
1596 Dalr. II 170/17.
Bautie tha heidet, and in the toun of Dunce his heid affixt on a staik, that all men mycht se it
1612 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. V 47.
[Her arm] to be … hung upoun a pyk or staik of tymmer to be hung and cheinȝeit to remane to the terror and example of utheris
(b) 1460 Hay Alex. 19184.
Be the hals the bodie hingit sould be … The head syne set vpone ane stalk to pyne

4. A post, pointed at both ends, for use in military defensive works.(a) c1475 Wall. (1570) x 42.
He … Gart set the ground with stark staikkis [M. spykis] and burd
1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 272.
Robert maid deip fowseis in the place quhare the battell was sett & dang stakis with scharp poyntis rysing vp … and the horsmen … to be revin on stakis
1533 Boece 239b.
The dike completit of stane and dovatis thay fixt in the hicht of it scharp stakis
(b) 1460 Hay Alex. 5955.
Money stob and stok was in that stound And mony sturdie steid slane in that ground

5. pl. or coll. The posts used as uprights in the construction of a fence or wall. b. specif., Staik(is and rys (Rice n.1), steakis and wathing, uprights interwoven with flexible material (brushwood, withies, broom) to construct fencing or walls, also, once, gabions. Stak and clay, as above, to construct a wall finished with a surface of clay. c. A wall or fence constructed in this manner. d. The right to cut posts, at need, from woodland. 1331 Exch. R. I 359.
[Computat in … vc stakys emptis pro orto faciendo circa manerium, v s.]
1513 Doug. ix x 18.
Aschame ȝe nocht … Tobe inclosyt amyd a fald of stakis, And be assegit agane … With akyn spilis and dikis on sik wys?
1544–5 Ayr B. Acc. 97.
For thornis and stakis to the oppin partis of the toun in the tyme of the pest
1657 Lanark B. Rec. 159.
The counsell appoyntis the welheid to be cassin and set about with stanes or staikes
b. (1) 1457 Acts II 51/2.
That na man mak ȝardis nor heggis of dry staikis na rys or stykis … bot allanerly of lyffand wode
1531 Bell. Boece I 260.
To big the wal … with staik and rise, in thair strangest maner
1549–50 Treas. Acc. IX 366.
For ane botis fraucht to Monifwthe with staikis and rys
1549–50 Treas. Acc. IX 373.
For stakis and rys to be gabyounes
1549–50 Treas. Acc. IX 375.
Frauchtit ane boit furth of Dunde to Lindoris for rys and staik
1574–5 Elgin Rec. I 150.
Thomas Vmfray … to big ane sufficient dyk of stak and rys
1607 Fam. Rose 295.
To caus big and repair ane hous of four cowpill rowme … with steack, ryse, and dowet
1650 Cramond Ch. Rathven 20.
A pantrie with a thinne wal of stak and rys
1683 Ellon Presb. 226.
Ane chimne of stak and ryce, and midle wall of stak and rice
(2) 1570 Inverness Rec. I 186.
Ane wall biggit wyth steakis and watling of wandis and browme
(3) 1564 Prot. Bk. W. Cumming 23b.
Vallis … to be bigit of stak and clay
1633 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 372.
Tua wallis of clay and staiks
c. 1689 Galloway P. 20 Sept.
To … inclose evrie yeirs hagg … with asufficient single stone deck or staik & ryse
d. c1300 Liber Calchou 458.
Apud Molle … in bosco ad del Scrogges stac & slac pro ouibus suis firmandi & virgas pro reparacionem carucas suas

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Stak n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: