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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

STACHER, v., n. Also stagher (Jam.), staucher, stocher; staicher; stackar, -er. [′stɑxər, ′stǫ-]

I. v. 1. intr. To stagger, stumble about, totter, walk unsteadily (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen. (exc. Sh.) Sc. Also ppl.adj. staucherin. Ayr. 1785 Burns Cotter's Sat. Night iii.:
The expectant wee-things, toddlan, stacher through To meet their Dad wi' flichterin noise and glee.
Slg. 1818 W. Muir Poems 6:
My wordy bachles, aft wi' you I've stackard thro' the dirt, when fou.
Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 266:
Keeps stoiterin and stacherin, and tumblin.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 225:
Some hae stacker'd into holes.
Rnf. 1872 J. Young Lochlomond Side 166:
When staucherin' fou He fell an' brack his leg.
Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 79:
The hale concern . . . Noo stachers upon lowsent legs.
Dmf. 1894 J. Cunningham Broomieburn 98:
Staicherin sae muckle he could hardly stan'.
Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 46:
When auld Age stachers into view.
Sc. 1926 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 95:
Stocherin to his feet, an' brushing the dust aff his claes.
Rxb. 1955 Abd. Univ. Review (Aut.) 143:
His fit ne'er stauchers on the road.
Sc. 1964 Weekly Scotsman (29 Oct.) 10:
Ewes with wee stachering lambs.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 34:
Think deep on the dern power o usquebae ...
the staucherin limb, the menseless bletherin tung ...
yeskin an soomin een an howff-yaird fecht.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 114:
Edinburgh was there but it was no barrier. He skited and stauchered back down the steep side of the hill and every step connected him with the land. When he reached the road he could still feel the beat of it pumping up through the soles of his feet.

2. tr. To make to stagger, to stupefy with surprise, amaze. Rare and prob. an adaptation of Eng. stagger sim. used.Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables 193:
The doings had so stauchered the minds o' folk in Kilwinning.
wm.Sc. 1925 D. Mackenzie Macmorro's Luck 30:
Syne solemnly she shook her heid wi' “No!” That stachert him as wi' a sudden blow.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 57:
Nae mirligoes stacher the dancer birlin
joy-glaid aneath the licht o the moon

II. n. A stumble, stagger, false step, lit. and fig. (ne.Sc., em.Sc. (a), Ayr., Wgt. 1971). Adj. staucherie, unsteady in gait, tottery (Ib.).Ayr. 1870 J. K. Hunter Life Studies 271:
An attempt to ease the foot produced a stacher.
Wgt. 1878 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 358:
He gied a great stacher and fell spraucheling on the floor.
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 81:
We're a' redd t' mak' a bit stacher.
m.Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (May) 149:
Her staucherie auld legs gied wey wi' her.

[Variant of O.Sc. (a.1400), Mid.Eng. stacker, stakker, O.N. stakra, to stagger. For -ch cf. dacher, Dacker, fichle, Fickle, sprackle, Sprauchle, etc.]

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"Stacher v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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