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

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

Stob, n.2 Also: stobb-, stobe, stop, stoib, stowb, stub, stabb. [ME and e.m.E. stubbe (1250), stob (1321), stub (1394-5), OE stub(b, ON stubbr, stubbi, stobbi.]Also used as a place and personal name element, apparently denoting originally the stump of a tree, or of a standing-stone or stone cross. See further J. Johnston Place-Names of Scotland and G. Black The Surnames of Scotland, s.v. Stob, Stobo, etc.(a) 1180–1203 Liber Calchou 82.
Decani de Stobhou
1219–33 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 427.
Ascendendo ad Stobstane super montem Urilhille
1365 Exch. R. II 205.
Andree Stob
1368 Exch. R. II 298.
1490 Reg. Paisley 266.
Inter … Et le Stobis de Ricardsbare ex parte australi [etc.]
1531 Ayr Chart. 103.
In quodam vado antedicte aque vulgariter nuncupate ly stob akyr furde
1538 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV 21.
The said Alex. … raisit the devill his maistir at ane pairt callit the Monkrig above Stobstane
1566–7 Reg. Privy S. V ii 273/2.
Ascendendo recto tramite ad lie Stobcroce
(b) 1260 Irvine Mun. I 5.
Thomam de Stubhyl

1. a. A stump of a tree or shrub. b. A broken-off twig.a. 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 169.
Boreas blew one blast, … Quhilk braik the branche, and blew hir, sodantlie, Doun to the ground … Upon ane stob scho lychit, on hir breist
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1538.
Quhalis and monstouris of the seis Stickit on stobbis, amang the treis
1573 Inv. Q. Mary clvi.
Ane (horse) wes slane on a stob in the park
1612 Crim. Trials III 243.
Of purpois to haif drowned him in the dambe, quhilk, … he had nocht failȝeit to haif done, war nocht … he was haldin and stayit be the stobe and rute of ane trie
1652 Glasgow B. Rec. II 229.
For the redding of the water of the stobbis was thairin, for the better passing of boattis
b. 1513 Doug. xi ii 18.
A beir Of sowpill wandis … Bund with the syonys or the twystis sle Of small rammell or stobys of akyn tre [L. virgis et vimine querno]

c. attrib. With crose, hornit: Reduced to or present only as stumps. Cf. stok cors (Stok n. 1 b).(1) 1562 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 28 Dec.
Ane broun quiok cutt stalit stob hornit of thre ȝeir ald
1581 Edinb. Test. X 184.
He [leuis] to his sister ane stob hornet quoy
(2) a1603 Anc. Prophecies 15.
Upon a broad moore, a battle shal be, Beside a stob crose of stone

2. A sharpened stick, stake or pole. 1531 Bell. Boece I xxxiv.
The peple makis ane lang mand, narow halsit, and wyid mouthit, with mony stobis inouth, maid with sik craft that the fische thrawis thameself in it, and can nocht get furth agane
1535 Stewart 55734.
The Scottis hirdis all that nycht but baid, Of scrymplit ledder mony closbow maid, Round as ane ball, of mony barkit skin, Apoun stobbis
1617–18 Ayr B. Acc. 269.
[Work and expenditure at the harbour this summer, including] stobbis [and perches on the shore]

b. specif. In burghs: A stake driven into the ground to serve as a boundary-marker, at a spot ascertained by measuring with a line (hence, once, lyne stobbis).(a) 1489 Prot. Bk. J. Young II 51.
[From the said gable toward the south to the strynd as the] stobbis [are placed between the said lands]
1536 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 174.
Robert Chepman, Jhone Muthag [etc.] … hes set stobbis in the yaird and als fand ane gavyl ester within Volle Flecher tenement and hes consignet it to Volle Flecher be resone of the first sasing and stobit it befoir thir vitnes [etc.]
1557 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson 179b.
The saidis lynaris … lynit the said … ȝarde … & thaireftir input stobbis in the erth to remane as merches and methes in tymes to cum
1570–1 Canongate Ct. Bk. 323. 1596 Glasgow Chart. II 568.
We the lyneris of the towne … fand the same [sc. lands] new dyikit in and maid outwith the stobbis quher the same wes stobbit, and specialle the saidis Jonet Blair, Johne Richie [etc.] … by and outwith the stobbis of auld sett betuix thame
1606 Glasgow Merchants House 103.
Desyring merchis and stobbis to be set and fixit betuix the said colledge landis and the landis of the aris of the said umquhile Henrie
1607 Glasgow Prot. X 131.
Quhilk peice of land being of lang tyme stobbit and measurit, the said stobbis is now away and can not be found, be quhat menis I knaw not
1609 (1615) Reg. Great S. 484/2.
12 … aikers of land ab occidente pali et materie crucis vie vulgo stob et trenetrie croce gait
1689–90 Glasgow B. Rec. III 519.
Payed to Robert Hall gardiner of the Gorball yeard belonging to the toune, … for buying of stobbs to stobb the said yeard for planting ane quickset hedge … which he is obleidged to doe by his tack
1550 Glasgow Prot. I 18.
The twa biggit howssis … gangand to the lyne stobbis with the eist half of the yairde … to stand for ane pairt
(b) 1562 Dumfries B. Ct. 125a.
In the clois vsit be John Kirkpatrik for the tyme [the liners] straik in stoibbis & bund ane streikit lyne levand & jugeand xvij inscheis fre to the said Birkmyrs land
(c) 1573–4 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 70.
To James Tait to mak burdis and stubis to Hew Tod and Henry Sinclare
(d) 1658–9 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 234.
To Thomas Potter, wryt, for dressing a stabb in Bilslands baksyd in the Croce Venall and for timber, nailes and workmanship
1690 Glasgow B. Rec. III 442.
Dischargeing any person … to take away any of the stabbs belonging to any of the saids greines

c. To haf or hald stob and stak(e, to own property (freq. in a burgh). Also, be stob and stak, by the process of measuring with fixed poles and line. Also in other constructions.(1) 1489 Edinb. B. Rec. I 57.
The outlandis folkis … passand fra hous to hous mendand and spilland nychtbouris wirk and stuf, hafand nother stob nor stake within this towne
1510 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 11.
That all owtburges nocht hawand bucht stob and stak within the burgh as afferis forfaittis thair fredome
1517 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 172.
That all maner of persouns quhilks ar burges maid and fremen of this burgh that thai cum and remayne within the samyn and hald thair stob and staik thairintill
1529 Aberd. B. Rec. in Conv. Burghs I 510.
That all thame that ar maid burges within the burgh that vsis bying and selling of merchandeis that tha cum and duell within the burgh and hald the stob and stack within the same within 40 dais nixt heirefter
1531 St. P. Henry VIII IV 594.
And thai [sc. the lands of Canonbie] were debatable, na man ought to have wyth in thame stob nor staik
1538 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 190.
This inquest dischargis all unfremen or voman to hauld stob or staik within our burgh, to tak or sell stapill gudis bot one the mercat day
1552 Dundee B. Ct. II 176a (27 July).
Chargeing all out burgessis of the said burcht to compeir in & to the said burcht and thare to hald stob & staik walk & waird and to paye extenttis & taxtis conforme to thare substancis
1555 R. Brown Paisley I 216. 1559–60 Inverness Rec. I 42.
He hes nocht made habitation … in this bruch yer and day … nor held newyr stob nor stayk, scottit nor lottit, walkit nor wardit with this bruch at nay time
1560 Edinb. B. Rec. III 87. 1569 Reg. Privy C. II 44.
Jok Irwing of the Floshe and Jok Irwing of Steilhill except, quhome thai promeis to hald furth and nocht to suffer thame haif stob or staik within thair boundis, or quhair thai may lett
(2) 1476 Peebles B. Rec. I 177.
The said Robert to haf all and hall the gawyll … as is weteryt be the said assis be stob and stak
(3) 1513–14 Prestwick B. Rec. 45.
Mertyn Myllar … to be maid fre man of the said burgh … the said Mertyn Myllar stops & staek beand wytin the burght
(4) 1517 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I 209.
[Lord Maxwell declared the goods were fairly taken, as the English had] sett stob and staik in the same ground
1530–1 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 353.
[To] peramble, vesy and consider the rycht merchis … and sett markis and methis, stob and staik tharintill
1568 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 2 Dec.
The consall decernit Johne Patersoun to sett doun stob & staik within this burgh
(5) 1537 A Remembrance of an Order for the Debatable Lannde in Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I xxxvii].
[Thatt all Inglichemene annde Scottesmene after thys proclamatione mayde … shalbe fre to rube burne [etc.] … all annd every suche person … as dothe remayne or shall inhabyde upon any partt of the sayde debatable lannde, witheowtt any redresse to be mayde … to all otheres Inglichmene annd Scottesmene thatt inhabyttes nott ther witheowitt a stobe or stayke

3. A short, thick nail; ? a metal spike.(1) 1496 Treas. Acc. I 289.
For iijc stobbis to the buschis and the vyralis
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 511.
For ane hunder stobbis to him
1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 25.
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 105.
For 1c schort stobbis and 1c wyndo naill
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 105.
For 1c grete stobbis to naill on the mullaris
1553–4 Edinb. Old Acc. II 25.
xxvj stobbis of irne for the trans of the queir
1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. I 211.
Half ane hundreth plancheour naillis … and xl greit stobbis of irne, x s. vi d.
1618 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 86.
For cutting of the quhyt horss of the cordis and the [blank] with the mending of the lammit hors that had a stob in his feit
(2) c1650 Spalding I 43.
This lymmaris heid wes set vp on ane iron stob, vpone the end of the tolbuith
c1650 Spalding I 75.
He wes takin and heidit, and his richt hand set on vpone ane stob

b. attrib. With nail, prene. 1568 Edinb. Test. I 185.
xij dosane paperis of stob prenis price of the dosane ten s.
1570 Edinb. Test. II 116b.
Fyve scoir of stob and Franche prenis price of the dosane x s.
1574 Edinb. Test. III 143.
Foure dosane … paper of stob prenis price of the dosane x s.
1575 Edinb. Test. III 383b.
Twa dosane of paparis of stob preins price xviij s.
1708 Glasgow Hammermen 141.
The dammage quhilk the streets … sustain through the late method of fixing the iron bands to the treads of carts by square headed stob nails

4. A thorn, in fig. context. 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 477.
Ye had not need to be barefooted among the thorns of this apostate generation, lest a stob strike up into your foot, and cause you to halt all your days

5. A pin for securing thatching. See also SND, s.v. Stob n.5. 1503 Lanark B. Rec. 13.
For devattis to the reggyn and stobis, vij d.
1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. II 77.
Coft, to thik the sang schole … Item, for stowbis, viij s. vj d.
1650 Dumfries Treas. Acc.
Payed for thake to the scolehouse & for puting it one & for stobes & in drink with the theiker £1 8 s. 4 d.
1661 Stirling Common Good 6b.
For … theacking the horse milne … 1800 stobs
1676 Cramond Ch. Speymouth 32.
His excuse was the heritors had not provided heather and stobs

6. pl. = Stib(b)il(l n. 1587 Laing MSS 59.
[They] ranne a daie forraie in Riddesdale and burnt the stobbes and caried awaie lx oxen and kye [etc.]

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"Stob n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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