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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

STOO, v.1, n.1 Also stu(e), stow, †stou; stoow; styoo (Ork. 1929 Marw.). [stu:]

I. v. 1. To cut or crop (Sc. 1808 Jam.), to lop, to trim with shears or knife, to cut off (the ears or tail of an animal, specif. as a mark of ownership) (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928), stu, Sh. 1971; to cut the hair (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Freq. with aff. Also fig. in ppl.adj. stooed, rooked, cleaned out at marbles (Sh. 1971).Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
I'll stow the lugs out of your head, i.e. I'll crop your ears.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II 128:
After their yokin, I wat weel They'll stoo the kebbuck to the heel.
Dmf. 1797 Edb. Mag. (Dec.) 457:
Monie a whang, stou'd frae the gude auld cheese.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxxiv.:
I wad stow the tongue out o' the head o' ony o' them.
Ayr. 1819 Kilmarnock Mirror 135:
As to the case o' my father's tailless cow, to my shame I confess it was me, that stoot it aff.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 64:
He ripet ilka pouch, an' squeez'd my throat — Ye knave, he says, I'll stoo ye itha spot.
Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 590:
Ill luk sit i' ma haands gin I sud na astud [sic] his luggs.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 119:
A' bit de cue wus fairly stooed.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (18 Dec.):
The right lugg stoowed a bit behind.
Kcb.4 1900:
Ye sud stoo the tail aff that tyke.
Abd. 1903 Abd. Weekly Jnl. (29 April):
She considered it very unlucky to cut the hair on her cows' tails during the time they were in calf. As soon as they were calved, their tails were cut — or “stoot”, as she termed the operation.
Abd. 1951 Buchan Observer (11 Dec.):
Aye stooin' an' shooin' at three-leggit masks.
Sh. 1964 Folk Life II. 13:
The kishie was finished except for trimming off or stooing the loose ends of the hyogs.

Ppl.adj. stooed, stowed, of a mark of ownership of an animal, in combs.: (1) round-stowed, having the ear-tip cut off in a semi-circular form; (2) stooed-hemlin, half of the ear cut off at a slant, stooed rip, a slit made in the ear after the point has been cut off (Ork. 1971). See Hemlin, Rip, n.1, 3.(1) m.Lth. 1758 Caled. Mercury (24 June):
The Ews are . . . round-stowed in the near Ear, and back halfed in the far Ear.

2. To cut off the stem or shoots of a plant or tree (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Sh., Abd. 1971). Freq. in vbl.n. stooins, stowins, -ans, lopped leaves or shoots, esp. the broken or young leaves of colewort, nipped off and used as food (Sc. 1808 Jam.: Ayr. 1912 D. McNaught Kilmaurs 298; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., Abd. 1971). Cf. Stone, n.2, Stoom.Sc. 1722 Scots Mag. (May 1934) 146:
Here's parsel and stowans, cries Nancy.
Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 227:
Heads of bodies like sybos stou'd.
Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. II. 64:
No article is in greater repute in small cottage gardens than what is styled stooans or stowans.
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 274:
I'll lea' to you my bonny nib, That used to stue the corn.
m.Sc. 1842 A. Rodger Stray Leaves 109:
They pu'd their ain fruit, and they stoo'd their ain kail.
Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 83:
Mawky kail wi' mony stowans.
Arg. 1882 Arg. Herald (3 June):
We hae an unco crap o' stouins in the yaird ee noo.
Abd. 1923 Swatches o' Hamespun 7:
Aw saw him stooin skellach wi' a scythe.

II. n. 1. A slice, a piece cut, a chunk (n.Sc., Rxb. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1716 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 72:
A Kcbbuck . . . in Stous that Day.
Lth. 1819 J. Thomson Poems 67:
[She] frae her kebbock whang'd a stow.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 65:
The browster wife brings ben A stow o' cheese.
Bwk. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 212:
To cut a great stoo of bread.

2. A mark of ownership on an animal's, esp. a sheep's ear, made by cutting off a portion backwards from the tip (Ork. 1910 Old-Lore Misc. III. i. 24, 1929 Marw.; Sh. 1971). Also in dim. form †stouake, stook [ < stoo-ick] (Id.).Ork. 1730 MS.:
On the Stouake marke . . . 10 [sheep].
Kcb.4 1900:
Barniewater's lug mark for his sheep was the roun' stoo.

[Reduced form of Eng. dial. stove, a vbl. deriv. of O.N. stúfr, a stump. Cf. O.N. stýfa, to cut off. O.Sc. has stow, to crop (the ears), 1513.]

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"Stoo v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Jun 2022 <>



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