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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

STORM, n., v. Sc. usages: I. n. 1. Fallen snow, esp. when lying in some quantity for a prolonged period (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 129, 1808 Jam.), freq. in combs. feeding-storm, lying storm, stock-storm (see first element); a period of wintry weather with alternations of frost and snow (Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 50; Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 155; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971). Also in n.Eng. dial.Inv. 1718 Scots Mag. (June 1888) 27:
He had been seized with a storm of snow.
Wgt. 1731 Session Bk. Glasserton MS. (31 Jan.):
There is a great storm of snow and frost upon the ground.
Arg. 1771 Caled. Mercury (18 March):
The storms seldom lie 48 hours.
Rxb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 133:
At the break of an ice storm, it sends forth a tremendous roar.
Sc. 1799 W. Mitchell Scotticisms 74:
If the snow melt away gradually, it is a mild storm.
Fif. 1879 St Andrews Citizen (1 Feb.):
Such a long continuing storm has rarely been endured.
Mry. 1954 Bulletin (2 March) 4:
Other places had storm, but we miraculously escaped.
m.Lth. 1955 Scotsman (23 Feb.):
Herds which, owing to the storm, were unable to be present at the First Sale.

Adj. stormy, (1) exposed to wintry weather, lying under snow, snow-bound; ¶(2) comb. stormy coal, in quot. below is prob. a misreading for ston(n)y coal.(1) s.Sc. 1799 Edb. Weekly Jnl. (8 May):
The highest and most stormy sheep-grounds in the south of Scotland.
Inv. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XIV. 429:
Sheep-farmers are liable to heavy losses in stormy winters.
(2) e.Lth. 1811 P. McNeill Tranent (1884) 175:
The coalier is to have no allowance or payment for working either stormy coal. or stages, or small hitches, or suchlike oncost below ground.

2. Combs. either in the above sense or as in Eng.: (1) storm-cock, the mistle-thrush, Turdus viscivorus (Ayr. 1909 Science Gossip (Aug.) 227; n.Sc., em.Sc.(a), Lth., Dmf. , Slk. 1971), also in Eng. dial.; the fieldfare, Turdus pilaris (Kcb. 1878 Zoologist II. 427; Sc. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 6, “from its harsh cry before rain”); ¶(2) storm-driftin, full of drifting snow; (3) storm-gavel, a gable in the front or back wall of a house carried up so as to form a small attic; (4) storm-head window, stormont ( < storm-(he)ad)-, a projecting roof-window, one with a small roof and sides, a dormer window (Cai., Kcb. 1971). Cf. (7); ¶(5) storm-prief, proof against storms. See Pruif; (6) storm-stayed, -ste(a)d(ed), held up or detained on a journey by snowy or inclement weather, storm-bound (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. From stay, to hold up, with confusion in some forms with bestead; (7) storm-window, = (4) (Sc. 1861 Stephens and Burn Farm Buildings 545, 1946 Spons' Pract. Builders' Pocket Bk. 442; ne.Sc., Per. 1971).(1) ne.Sc. 1903 G. Sim Fauna of “Dee” 74:
When the storms of winter cover the greater part of the country, the “Storm Cocks” betake themselves to the coast in the hope of picking up something to keep life in them.
Abd. 1916 Buchan Observer (10 Jan):
Other birds, notably the storm-cock, were induced by the sunshine to try their throats just a little.
(2) Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 243:
They muse on the storm-driftin' heavens.
(3) Sc. 1752 Faculty Decisions I. 58:
The addition to the tenement was finished in the manner of a tympany or storm-gavel.
(4) Edb. 1760 Session Papers, Freebairn v. Buchan (4 Aug.) 9:
Lodgings entirely within the Roof, which have Windows by Projections or Stormonts, as they are called.
Sc. 1767 Session Papers, Petition P. Begbie (14 Jan.) 19:
The four stormont-windows in the main roof.
Sc. 1833 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Archit. 223:
The next characteristic is the storm-head windows.
(5) Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 197:
Hap them in a storm-prief biel.
(6) Ayr. 1787 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 142:
I was storm-steaded two days at the foot of the Ochel Hills.
Lnk. 1885 A. G. Murdoch Readings I. 67:
I was storm-sted in a close at the heid o' the Saut-market.
Ags. 1888 Barrie Auld Licht Idylls ii.:
Storm-stead shows used to emphasize the Severity of a Thrums winter.
Ags. 1920 D. H. Edwards Muirside 48:
The coach was “storm-stayed” for two weeks.
(7) Edb. 1702 Burgh Rec. Edb. (1967) 4:
Finishing the garretts and striking out four storm windows in the south syde.
Gsw. 1714 Records Trades Ho. (Lumsden 1934) 14:
Storm windous of single dale iron bands & other neccessurs.
Sc. 1730 Caled. Mercury (19 Nov.):
Entered by a Storm Window the House of one Mr Clark, a Taylor.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Let. iv.:
There were what are called storm-windows in the roof, giving symptoms of the magnificence of a second storey.
Sc. 1856 H. Cockburn Memorials 287:
To break the roof by a Flemish storm window.
Fif. 1909 J. C. Craig Sangs o' Bairns 200:
The only odds on Milesmark is, Some storm windows addit.

II. v. To block or cover up with snow, to beset with snow and frost. Also transf. Vbl.n. storming, cold, snowy or frosty weather.Peb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XII. 561:
When the farms in Megget are completely stormed with snow.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
“Stuffin' hauds out stormin',” i.e., a well-filled belly is the best antidote to the effects of a severe blast.
Mry. 1875 W. Tester Select Poems 32:
Tho' English coals (we're storm'd wi' peats) in price are rising fast.
Dmf. 1866 Trans. Highl. Soc. 128:
By storms we mean the length of time the snow remains on the ground, or as long as what the shepherds call “stormed.”

[O.Sc. stormestaide, 1491, storm window, 1611, stormond (window), 1684.]

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"Storm n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Feb 2023 <>



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