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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STIRRAH, n. Also stirra. [′stɪrə]

1. A stout sturdy boy, a young lad (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 13:
A dainty stirrah twa years out gane.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 81:
If ony mettl'd stirrah green For favour frae a lady's ein.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 41:
She's born a bra wally thumping stirra.
Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling II. iii.:
In comes a stirrah, a' hechin'.
Rxb. 1848 R. Davidson Leaves 45:
And then some stirrahs, young an' yald, To gain the prize are springin'.

2. Used with peremptory or contemptuous force; a fellow, a rough, unmannerly youth, a booby (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1971). In 1816 quot. in a command to a dog.Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xv., xxi.:
Where are ye gaun? . . . Stirra, this is no the road though. . . . When the dogs barked, the gudewife wad cry, “Whisht, stirra, that'll be auld Edie.” . .
Slk. 1818 Hogg Wool-Gatherer (1865) 68:
My faith, stirra! but ye're soon begun to a braw trade!

[O.Sc. stirrow, id., 1665, variant of Eng. sirrah. For the form see Stir.]

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"Stirrah n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Apr 2024 <>



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