Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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STARK, adj., adv. Also sterk (Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms Intro. 1). Sc. usages, now rare or obs. in Eng.:

I. adj. 1. Of persons or animals: physically strong, sturdy, lusty, in full vigour (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Ork., Cai. 1971). Adv. starkly, vigorously, vehemently. Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 78:
To ease the Gantrees of the Ale, And try wha was maist stark.
Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 16:
He flegged starker fouk na' you.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 113:
It [wine] maks you stark, and bauld and brave.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Elegy R. Ruisseaux iii.:
Tho' he was bred to kintra-wark, And counted was baith wight and stark.
Sc. a.1802 Jamie Telfer in Child Ballads (1956) IV. 7:
The Scotts they rade, the Scotts they ran, Sae starkly and sae steadily.
Knr. 1832 L. Barclay Poems 145:
When stark there was but very few Could better as a tracer pu'.
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 96:
Fill fu' and haud fu', maks the stark man.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man xliv.:
Following strongly in our wake, as a stark swimmer might do.
Abd. 1909 C. Murray Hamewith 88:
Starkly did he gie him't back.
Ags. 1918 J. Inglis The Laird 3:
What mak's the wean stark and sturdy?

2. Of material objects: strongly made, durable, stout, hard. Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Shop Bill 33:
The starkest hose that can be made.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 92:
Frae a stark Lochaber aix He gat a clamihewit.
Ags. 1794 W. Anderson Piper of Peebles 6:
The sarks were few, an' very stark.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 92:
We've logs, baith steive and stark.
Gall. 1904 Crockett Raiderland 161:
This is a guid stark bit whup.
Uls. 1953 Traynor:
That's far starker calico.

3. Of liquor: strong, potent, heady, intoxicating (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Obs. in Eng. since 17th c.; of food: strong-tasted, full of substance, solid. Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 4:
She fills a bicker o' the starkest ale.
Ayr. 1870 J. K. Hunter Life Studies 40:
The wife remarking that it was a stark dram.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 119:
It wad be ower stark meat for your wake disjastion.
Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard-Bearer xiv.:
The stark Hollands flowed like water.

4. Of wind: strong, violent, boisterous; of a snowfall: thick, dense, blinding (Ork. 1929 Marw., a stark moor, stark drift, Ork. 1971). Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 184:
My friends, for G—d sake! quat yer wark, Nor think to war a wind sae stark.

II. adv. In a vigorous manner, energetically; rigidly; fully, completely. Now rare in Eng. except in certain collocations. m.Lth. 1786 G. Robertson Har'st Rig (1801) lxxv.:
Kempen fowk they dinna lo'e, They wurk sae stark.
Abd. 1857 G. MacDonald Songs (1893) 127:
The auld fowk lie still wi' their een starin stark.
Arg. 1898 N. Munro J. Splendid iv.:
The whole wide street was stark awake.
Lnk. 1951 G. Rae Howe o' Braefoot 126:
We filled Ming sterk fu' wi' brandy.

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"Stark adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2022 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/stark>

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