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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).

Stanch(e, v. Also: stawnch, stansh(e, stainch(e, sten(s)ch(e, (stance). [ME and e.m.E. stanche(n (c1315), staunche(n (1340), stawnche(n (?a1400), stench (a1513), OF estanchier (11th c. in Larousse).]

1. tr. To stop the flow a. Of blood (from a wound); also said of the wound itself. Also fig. b. Of water.a. ?1438 Alex. i 1825.
He … band his felloun wound … To stanche the blude that fast out ran
c1450 Charm in Harl. MS 6670.
Stem & stanch this blud … Suthtfast lord
c1475 Wall. ix 968.
The Scottis … Stanchit woundis that couth full braithly bleid
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4620.fig. 1600 Calderwood VI 93.
To stainche the bleeding of the caus and to stay the grouth of this usurpation
b. a1500 Seven S. 2206.
Ilka hed sall stanche a spring

c. To quell (an episode of) vomiting; to cure sickness; also, to cure a person in respect of an illness.(1) a1500 Seven S. 749.
Ypocras … had seiknes saire & schame That he couth stanche apon na mak For spys or herbe that he couth tak
1588 St. A. Kirk S. 623.
Tak quheit bread with watter and sukker, to help to stanche the vomeid
(2) a1500 Seven S. 768.
Ȝone herbe that gerris the watter stop … War I stanchable it wald stanche me

d. intr. Of blood or bleeding: To cease to flow; to stop. e. Of rain: To cease to fall.d. c1450 Charm in Harl. MS 6670.
& gif it [sc. bleeding] stanchis nocht quhen it is said thris than say it ix tymis
1513 Doug. xii vii 98.
All blud stanchit and stud in the deip wond
e. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1486.
The dow … Off ane olyue … brak ane branche, That Noye mycht knaw the walter stanche
1588 King Cat. in Forbes Kal. Sc. Saints 155.
The raine staincheit the 40 day efter Noa entereit the ark

2. a. tr. To put a stop to, cause to cease, suppress or put down (an activity, chiefly, war, discord, crime, etc.). b. To quell (the wind, a storm). c. To put out (fire). d. To cause (an outbreak of disease) to abate. e. To cause (speech, rumour etc.) to cease. f. intr. To stop, cease.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 329.
Sic were to gere stanchit be, The emperoure send princis thre
?1438 Alex. ii 10910.
1409 Red Bk. Menteith II 279.
To ger sic rebellioun, ryot and disobesance be restrenȝeit and stanchit
14.. Acts I xxvii.
Watter cummand fra ane glen heid Devydis that glen and stancheis feyde
1454–5 Edinb. Chart. 80.
Quhare ony merchandice … that aucht to be merkettit within the burgh is tappit and made merchandice of within the toune of Leith … he sal help the officiaris of the toune … to punys and stanche it
1460 Hay Alex. 1803.
Gif he wald mak end of the were And stanche effusioun of saikles menis blude
1474 Treas. Acc. I 51.
Lettres to the Erle of Buchane and the Lorde Oliphant, to stanche thare gadering for the court of Forfare
1513 Doug. iii iv 107.
O hie goddis, forbyd syk violens, Stanch this bost and ondo this myscheif
1515 Douglas Corr. 70.
The Kyngis wrytyngis wald stanch all this debayt
1528 St. P. Henry VIII IV i 504.
We ar in travale towart oure Bordouris to putt gude ordoure and reule apoun thame, and to stanche the thiftis and rubberis
1532 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 385.
On to the tyme that this murmur laitlie risin of weir be stanchit and sett doun
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2555 (B). a1568 Bann. MS 44b/81.
Mesure stanchis sturtis
a1568 Sempill Bann. MS 125b/9. 1570 Leslie 11.
Thair wes greyt trouble and civill seditione in the realme bot at the last he stanchet the same be suppressing of his enemyes
1570 Leslie 79.
The hole cause wes … quyeted and stancheit
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 319/52.
Oure lordis can not aggre Quhilk for to do … Wald stanche this grit iniquite
a1578 Pitsc. II 93/32.
That they might … stanche bludscheding
(b) c1420 Wynt. viii 5731.
He that melle stawnchid
(c) a1585 Maitland in Maitl. Q. 15/20.
Kirkmen afoir … stainchit [Maitl. F. stanchit] stryfe They feirit nather sworde nor knyfe
a1585 Maitland in Maitl. Q. 79/63.
Syne pray to God … To tak fra ws this cruell scurge And for his mercie stainche our cair
a1585 Maitland in Maitl. Q. 86/24.
This haill countrie to mak at ane And stainche this troublous tyme
(d) 1561 Crim. Trials I i 410.
To stenche and repres the said tvmult
1600 Crim. Trials II 202.
Andro Gellatlie hering the bell past … to get ane wapin; and befoir he com thair all wes stenschit
b. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 378.
To stanch the storm wyth haly muldis thou loste
1513 Doug. i ii 21.
At certane tyme thame stanching [sc. the winds] and withhald And at command … quhen he wald Lat thame go fre
c. 1513 Doug. v xii 111.
Quhilk from thi navy stanchit the fyre
1639 Edinb. B. Rec. VII 224.
Theme who did help to stainche the said fyre
d. 1530 Edinb. B. Statutes 25 May.
Thar is sum pert of infectione of pestilens rissin within this tovne quhilk be the grace of God & gud gouernans may be weill stanchit
1533 Bell. Livy II 164/31.
The ire of goddis mon be first mesit to stanche the said pest
e. 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 45.
And ewill brwtt … may be stanchit
1548–9 Treas. Acc. IX 282.
To Helene Ros to stanche hir bairdre and ewill toung
1564 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 6.
The uthair 3 elderis for the body of the kirk, and to stenche the rymour
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i 406.
Lat thame all talking stanche
f. (1) 1513 Doug. i v 110.
The cruel tyme sone therefter sal ces, And weris stanche, al salbe rest and pes
1535 Stewart 9006. a1578 Pitsc. I 136/13.
Thair interprysse … had taine the effect bot dout of the subtell … craft of the chancelar … right schortlie had nocht stanchit the samin
(2) 1513 Doug. xi vii 12.
Thar mudis mesyt wer, Thar waverand wordis stanchit

3. tr. To extinguish, repress, allay, suppress (pride, anger, etc.). Also intr. ?1438 Alex. i 2414.
Ȝoung pryde is stanshit sone
c1420 Ratis R. 641.
Sice dedis emples maist to grace … And stanch the vreth of God
1461 Liber Plusc. I 383.
And stanche in erde all solace and blythnes; Turn … in murnyng all myrth and melody
1513 Doug. xii vi 9.
O stanch ȝour wraith for schame or all is lorn
1535 Stewart 11964.
All thair strenth had stanchit bene that day, Had nocht the Almanis … Reskewit thame
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 305/15.
Vnles that God of … his divine poweir stanche this vnkyndlie weir
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 143.
To mak sum ordour to stanche the crueltie of the thevis
1573-1600 Burne Disput. in Cath. Tr. 162/4.
This maist honest refusal could nather stench his lust nor ambition bot … he did perseu to haue allyance vith the … hous of Ochiltrie
c1590 Fowler I 70/94.
With honestie quyte quainshed And through the coldnes of my dame his ardent pleasouris stanched
1596 Dalr. II 221/31.
The audacitie … of the bordourers culd not be stainchet
1600-1610 Melvill 433.
And aither stainche the rage of thair impyre, Or come and cast them in æternall fyre!
intr. 1456 Hay I 256/22.
A sudayn hete of ire of vengeance quhilk efterwart stanchis
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 178/11 (A).
Gud luf may nocht faile stanche nor slokin in the noble blude of a man seker and stable
1686 Short Accoumpt Earl Argyls Invasion 1685 28.
His thirst was never qwenched Until his life depairted, then it stainch'd

b. tr. To satisfy (an appetite), quench (thirst).In Lynd. quot. with punning allusion to 3 above. c1420 Wynt. ii 1412.
[To] ly with thame in ful delite, That thai mycht stanch thair appetit
1456 Hay I 27/30.
Sa is thare in the avaricious man ane unfillable gredy covatis of gold, quhilk may never be stanchit
1492 Myll Spect. 287/3.
Hyr foull lust and desyr was nocht stanchit
1535 Stewart 15815. c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 84.
That wer aneuch to stanche the lust Of ony man that saw thame naikit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8223.
Micht thow na way stancheit thy foull nature With my bodie
1580 Skeyne Descr. Well (1884) Sig. A 3b.
Mitigatis the heit of the liuer, stancheis [BC stancheit] drouth [etc.]
c1580-90 Rules of Health 6.
Drink … only to stenche ȝour drowth with mesor
1596 Dalr. I 161/18.
With al this nobil blude he culde nocht stanche his stommok
1603 Philotus 153.
Than tak to stanche the morning drouth, Ane cup of mauesie
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 183/646.
Couuetusness the quhiche the earth nor yett the aire [etc.] … can euer fill nor stanche thy lusting caire
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 63.
By this we bothe gratified our commorades and stanched our oune curiosity

4. To cause (a person) to stop doing something or behaving in a particular fashion; to defeat (an enemy); to suppress (troublemakers, etc.). Also const. of, fra the thing done, mode of behaviour, state of mind, etc. b. ? To punish (persons) in respect of their behaviour. c. To relieve (a person) of pain.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii 3362.
Thay will ishe blythly to the scry To stanche thare faes
1456 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i p. 289 (15 Dec.).
To be punyst as brekaris of law borowes and commoune mansworn distrublaris of this burgh that kan noght be stancheit
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 544.
Than wald ȝe stanche weill baith reuer and theif
a1538 Abell 124b.
He rais wp … & beguth to dance … him alane na he mycht nocht be stanchit
1565 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 24.
Biand requyrit be the mynister quhy scho taryit so lang, quha ansuer wnnorywslie and culd nocht be stenchit
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 319/72.
Than bettir mycht ȝe … The thevis stanche
a1578 Pitsc. I 348/4.
And so they war stanchit and faught no more
1579 Inverness Rec. I 268.
Andro McWilliam McPhadrik is becumin actit for his wyiffis gude haiffing … and in case he stanche hir nocht as said is [etc.]
a1582 Sir Colling 238.
The ladie rampis and raif hir hair Mycht not be stanchit than
1596 Dalr. I 172/26.
Argadie … stanchet all seditious persounes, putting ane due ordour, peice, and rest to the hail yles
(2) Arundel MS 283/137.
Prayand to ȝow tobe stanchit of birnand lichory, sa that … ȝe mot teche me to leif in chaistite
1564 Inverness Rec. I 118.
[She] can nocht be stanchit of hyr ewyll sclandrus toung
a1578 Pitsc. I 92/23.
This wickit man that cuild na wayis be stenchit fra reffe and oppressioun
a1578 Pitsc. I 196/34.
The king wschit out … to stenche thir twa lordis of thair combat
1596 Dalr. I 10/26.
The bordirmen … quha nathir in peace or weire can be stainchet from takeng the pray
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxi 12.
Hir rosie lippis me thocht on me sche thirst And said, ‘may this nocht stanche ȝow of ȝour harmes!'
b. 1568 Chron. Fortirgall 136.
The xxij day of Awgust … xiij men of the lardis of Glenwrquhais men slayed that da be Clangregor … Gud in hawin stance them of thar vykgytnes … So be it
c. a1400 Leg. S. xliv 20.
Na scho mycht get na medycine That cuth hire stanche of that pyne

d. intr. Of a person: To stop doing something; also, to cease to do something.(1) 1456 Hay I 62/6.
He gret sa fast that he mycht nocht stanche lang tyme efter
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 543.
Thir fendis … Sterand the potis of hell, and nevir stanchis
1535 Stewart 21899.
Maximiane, or he wald stanche of yre, All Galdia he hes brint in ane fyre
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 3174.
To spend he neuer stanches Sa lang as he hes heill
c1568 Lauder Minor P. iii 75.
The hypocreitis dois neuer stanche nor cease To rais discorde and innanymitie

5. absol. 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Compesco, to stanche, or dantoun

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"Stanch v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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