Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STA, n., v. Also staa, staw, stau. Sc. forms of Eng. stall, in a stable, a booth at a market, etc. Dim. stallie. [stɑ:, stǫ:]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. (Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 187; Rnf. 1801 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 11; ne.Sc. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads II. 33; Ags. 1924 A. Gray Any Man's Life 50; Cai. 1934 John o' Groat Jnl. (19 Jan.)). For phrs. stirkie's sta', stook an' sta', see Stirk, Stook. Combs. sta' room, accommodation for an animal in a byre; sta-tree, the stake in a cow-stall to which the animal is bound (Kcd. 1825 Jam.); the cross-beam over the manger in a stable (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.). Cf. ravel-tree s.v. Ravel.Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man III. vii.:
Hearth-room and ha'-room, steed-room and sta'-room.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 19:
She wis mair nur a bittickie feart o thon bull, fa bedd cheyned bi a ring throwe his snoot tae his staa, ...

2. See quot. (Ork. 1971).Fif. 1864 St Andrews Gaz. (19 Nov.):
In the ‘belly of his stall' — as the shoe-makers call the hollow box on which they sit.

3. In dim.: one of the compartments on the deck of a flshing-boat (Bnff. 1971).

4. A surfeit, a feeling of nausea, disgust or aversion caused by satiety (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 129; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 268; Uls. 1929; m. and s.Sc. 1971); a jollification involving much eating of tit-bits. Also fig. and freq. in phrs. to get, gie or tak a staw. Also to hae a staw at, to bear a grudge against.Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 70:
An' we to haud our Fastren's staw.
Lnk. 1824 Sc. Peasants ii.:
I am no sure about this Union business at a'. Luke Martin has gi'en me a staw o't.
Sc. 1825 Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) IX. 333:
Talking of Moore he [Hogg] said his songs were written wi' owr muckle melody — they gied him a staw of sweetness.
Ayr. 1892 Kilmarnock Stand. (30 July) 5:
But charmin' nane harmin', Nor giein' them the staw.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Men of Moss-Hags v.:
He had gotten a staw of the red soldiers.
Sc. 1924 J. Innes Till a' the Seas xlii.:
It gave me a staw and scunner at lawyers.
Fif. 1948 J. C. Forgan Maistly 'Muchty 20:
They'd sent doon for the doctor, wha said he'd got a staw.
Gsw. 1955 Bulletin (26 Nov.):
Ay've taken a pairfaict sta at grated carrots.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 66:
The third matter which gave his fellow citizens a real staw at the merchant was that such a man was said to have it in mind to wed the fetching, gentle and merry daughter of their much-loved Baillie, James Guthrie.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 103:
Katie Jack of the Black Isle was, for the most part, a well-tempered woman, but she had two staws at local men who in different ways had got her dander up ...
Rnf. 1995:
If you do too much revision you can take a staw to it.

5. An annoyance, nuisance; a pest, bore (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein).s.Sc. 1836 Wilson's Tales of the Borders II. 167:
It's a perfeek staw the like o' this wark.
Bwk. 1876 W. Brockie Confessional 180:
What does ane live for but to eat? This gairness is a perfect staw.
Dmf. 1917:
She bides that lang, she's a perfect staw.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 18:
Nae pictur's, dances. It's a staw To turn a stirk, man.

II. v. 1. In vbl.n. stalling, the setting up of a stall at a market or fair. Hence comb. stalling-maills, the dues paid to the local authority for this privilege. Cf. Stallenger.Rs. 1712 N. Macrae Romance Royal Burgh (1924) 206:
There was produced by the Treasurer a list of stallingers liable in payment of stalling maills.

2. tr. To surfeit, satiate, sicken or disgust with excess of food (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 438; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; m. and s.Sc. 1971). Also refl. and fig. to tire, weary, bore with monotony, constant repetition, etc. (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 198; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). Freq. in ppl.adj. stawed, staut (with o' wi), having had enough (of), sated (with). Compar. stawder. Vbl.n. stawin. Also in Eng. dial.Ayr. 1787 Burns To a Haggis v.:
Is there that o'er his French ragout, Or olio that wad staw a sow?
Sc. 1806 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 696:
Whan onie glaiket wish Stechs an' connachs till it's staut.
Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 27:
When the edge o' the appeteet's a wee turned, and you're rather beginnin to be stawed.
Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 81:
Your sherny legs wad staw the town Ilka lirk wi' muck is fou.
Cld. 1866 G. Mills Beggar's Benison I. 152:
All the pastry in my shop would fail to staw the youthful appetite.
Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (6 Feb.) 321:
I was sune stawder o' lyin' than ever I had been o' risin'.
Ags. 1894 J. Paul Up Glenesk 74:
Contentment's better than great stawin'.
Rxb. 1914 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
Whan ma lugs are staaed o throapply blethers.
sm.Sc. 1923 R. W. Mackenna Bracken and Thistledown 107:
It's that stawed it can eat nae mair.
Sc. 1939 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 268:
Wouldna the life in yon place staw them?
Dmf. 1956:
They've stawed theirsels — they've sickened themselves by overeating.
Edb. 1960:
They get so much shorthand, they are stawed by the time the exam comes.

Adj. stawsome, -sum, nauseous, repugnant to the taste or appetite, of unpleasant or excessive food (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 180, -sum; m.Sc., Rxb. 1971); fig. tiresome, boring, wearisome.Bwk. 1801 “Bwk. Sandie” Poems 78:
Sic scrapin', an' shapin' Things out — to gar them sair, Is awesome, an' stawsome.
Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 90:
Downricht stawsome grows their din.
Edb. 1881 J. Smith Habbie and Madge 82:
It's turnin' as stawsome to me as castoroil wi' a bap.
Edb. 1915 J. Fergus The Sodger 20:
His meat seem'd wersh an' stawsome.
Bwk. 1943 W. L. Ferguson Vignettes 73:
O! whiles I think on Lesbia's sparrow, A stawsome bird — Catullus' sorrow!

3. intr. To become cloyed or sated with or nauseated by food, etc.; to become bored or fed up (Ags., Per., Lnk., sm.Sc. 1971).Dmf. 1730 Clerk of Penicuik MSS. (22 Aug.):
The sight of gleakry of the town, of which I fancy you would soon stau.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 137:
I'll gust ye till ye staw.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 9:
Whaur I gang I seldom staw.

[In sense II. 2. in E.M.E. as staule, from the notion of an animal kept in a stall and fed to repletion.]

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

"Sta n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: