Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STENCH, adj., adv. Also stainch, stinch; †stinge (Abd. 1825 Jam.). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. staunch, dedicated, resolutely loyal (Sc. 1712 Analecta Scotica (Maidment 1839) H. 227; Dmb. 1785 Session Papers, Petition J. Colquhoun (21 June) Proof 12; Rnf. 1805 G. McIndoe Poems 86; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 181, Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 268; ne., em.Sc. 1971). Stenchel in Rymour Club Misc. (1912–19) II. 40 is for stench aul(d). [stenʃ]

I. adj. 1. Serious in demeanour. Severe-looking, reserved. Obs. in Eng.; in later usage: stiff in manner, inflexible, uncompromising, not amenable; austere, rigid (Abd. 1825 Jam., stinge; ne.Sc. 1971).Sc. a.1758 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 290:
His hinging eyebrows shade his een, which made him look as grave & staunch as some great Dons who fill the Bench.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 35:
Here comes a matron, sullen, slow, an' staunch, She blames her partner wi' the servant wench.
Bwk. 1876 W. Brockie Leaderside Leg. 6:
Cross bitter things were said by each, For baith were stainch an' steeve.
Bnff. 1950:
He wis an awfu stainch kin o a man — i.e. not the sort one could take liberties with.
Abd. 1969 Huntly Express (19 Sept.) 2:
A rigid disciplinarian and what was known as “a gey stinch billie.”
Abd. 1993:
E minister wis a bittie stinch kin wi backsliders.

2. Of persons, animals and objects: strong, durable (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 181), dependable, firm, stout; in good health (Id.; ne.Sc. 1971).Abd. 1880 G. Webster Crim. Officer 99:
I wasna vera stainch for duty wi' my broken ribs that autumn.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 23:
We wrocht alang the auld guid way, And fand it stench.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood xiv.:
We'll need some stench lees to get the sodger's claes blown over.
Abd. 1933 J. H. Smythe Blethers 53:
A stinch bittie stuff wis the bonny bay mear.
Bnff. 1954 Banffshire Jnl. (23 Nov.):
Just the gweed stench scythe an' haud at it.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 76:
Twis stinch eneuch - a hardie, steen, humfy-backit briggie - bit langsyne hid been nae mair nor a roch towe wippit roon twa aiks that sweyed fin fowks swung abeen the roch sweel o the waves on their wye frae ae side till tither.

3. “Hard, difficult” (Abd. 1825 Jam., stinge).

II. adv. Strictly, closely, exactly (ne.Sc. 1971). Rare and obs. in Eng. Phr. haud stinch, a call in marbles when a player is stretching too far forward in firing (Ags. 1880 in T.S.D.C. (1921)).Abd. 1950:
Milk was gey stainch rationt throw the war.

[See note to Stench, v., n.]

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

"Stench adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: