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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).

STAMACK, n., v. Also stamac (Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 19), stamick (Slg. 1901 R. Buchanan Poems 168), stamock (Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 54), staamic (Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 62); stammack (Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 58, Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 43, Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 17), stammock (Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 45); stam(m)ag (Cai.); stammach (Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 209; ne.Sc. 1928 J. Wilson Hamespun 61), stamach (m.Lth. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 36; Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxvi., 1896 Stevenson W. Hermiston v.; Abd. 1918 C. Murray Sough o' War 22), stamoch (Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck iii.; Sc. 1827 Scott Chrons. Canongate I. v.); stammo' (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 133), stammoo (Ork. 1971). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. stomach (Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 188; Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xl.; Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 56; Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 16; Lth. 1885 J. Strathesk More Bits 221; Gen.Sc.). Dim. stamackie (Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb viii.). See P.L.D. § 54. [′stɑmək]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Derivs. stammacker, -ger, a stomacher; a stiffener for a corset, “a slip of stay-wood, used by females” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 436); stammachfu, a stomachful, one's fill; stomach-tight, having a good appetite. Phrs. to fin(d) the bottom or grund(s) o one's stamack, to feel ravenously hungry (ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971); to toom one's stammack, fig., to say all one has to say, “to get it off one's chest.”Sc. 1715 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 72:
Ithers that were Stomach-tight.
Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes lviii.:
Ye'll be laid up yersel' gin ye dinna get a stammachfu' o' the caller air noo and than.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 222:
The hill air lats fouk fin' the bottom o' their stamacks.
Fif. 1883 W. D. Latto Bodkin Papers vi.:
I beg to tell ye mair an' farther, for I mean to toom my stammack, noo that I've begun.
Kcb. 1902 Crockett Dark o' the Moon xv.:
I am fair sick to my stammack o' leevin wi' twa clean daft folk!

2. Appetite, relish for food. Phr. to have a good (bad) stomach, to have a hearty (poor) appetite (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 145, 1799 W. Mitchell Scotticisms 79). Gen.Sc.Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 88:
Whan Auntie Marion did her stamack tyne.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 15:
Eating and drinking puts awa the stamach.
Sc. 1851 G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 59:
An' siccan a stamach he has! You'd think he'd ne'er get to the grund o' it.
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 156:
If the sufferer further complained of having “lost dir stamack”, they were supposed to be afflicted with the “heart wear.”
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS. iii.:
Some common green kale blades hed been tied in bunches and hung up in the chimney till they were wallent and reekit and this was gien to the coo to gie her her stamach.

3. Phr. by stamack, off by heart. Cf. II. 2.m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 209:
I hinna got it a' by stamack yet.

II. v. 1. To put into the stomach and retain there, to digest (Abd. 1971); to fill or satiate with food. Rare or obs. in Eng.Rxb. 1824 Rymour Club Misc. II. 50:
Where wi herry and spulzie, wi' raif and wi' stouth, We stammached our hunger, and quenched our drouth.

2. Fig. To take in by way of understanding, to get something into one's head, to grasp with the mind (Abd.13 1910).

[O.Sc. stammok, a stomacher, 1540.]

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"Stamack n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Oct 2022 <>



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