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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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.

STOVE, n., v. Sc. usages:

I. n. †1. A steam, a fume, a state of great heat or high temperature. Phr. a stove o' sickness, a bout of feverishness (Abd. 1825 Jam.).Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 31:
On simmer faugh, in scorchin heat, Oft have I drudged in stove o' sweat.

2. (1) A mist or vapour rising from the ground. Dim. stovie, -y in combs. startle o' stovie, stertlin' stovy, a shimmer of heat in the atmosphere near the ground. See Startle, v., 3.; †(2) a steamy odour or atmosphere, an exhalation.(2) Uls. 1897 S. MacManus A Lad of the O'Friels xvi.:
A stove of whiskey that would knock ye down.

3. A stew (in cooking). Also attrib. as in stove tatas (see II. 1.). Phr. on the stove, of a pot or its contents: stewing, simmering (Slg. 1942).Per. 1737 Ochtertyre Ho. Bk. (S.H.S.) 147:
Dinner a stove foulls in it.
Sc. 1743 Household Bk. Lady G. Baillie (S.H.S.) 279:
6 ounces pruens for Cockaleekie or stove.
Rxb. c.1800 Mem. S. Sibbald (Hett 1926) 203:
Then after we ha' oure Mart, than we ha' stove tatas. That's when they're pet in the pot wi'out water, wi' a bit shuet, some sibies, an' a pickle saut.
Sh. 1869 J. T. Reid Art Rambles 62:
A savoury dish of “stove”, made of five or six fat newly-slaughtered sheep.
Sc. 1909 Cookery Bk. Lady Clark of Tillypronie (Frere) 357:
Lamb's stove. Clean and blanch the lamb's head; stew it in broth.

II. v. 1. tr. (1) To stew (in cooking) (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Sh., Bnf., Abd., Ayr., Bwk. 1971). Also in n.Eng. dial. Pa.p. stoved, †-en, now esp. of potatoes (see 1909 quot. and stovies below), vbl.n. stov(e)ing, as in comb. stoveing pigg, -pott, a dish for stewing, a casserole. Also intr.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 149:
The Stov'd or Roasted we afford, Are aft great Strangers on our Board.
Sc. 1736 Mrs. McLintock Receipts 15:
Put them [pears] in a Stoup, stove them tender.
Sc. 1737 Medical Essays (2nd ed.) II. 293:
His Food was chiefly Bread-berry, stoved Barley, and Bread soaked in Tea.
Ork. 1747 P. Ork. A.S. XII. 49–51:
12 earthe stoveing piggs with covers smal and great. . . . 3 earthen stoveing potts.
Hdg. 1821 W. Smith Orig. Poems 88:
Syne sent it [a turbot] to Rob M — y's oven And weel had Rob the birkie stoven The skin was crimp.
Sc. 1826 M. Dods Manual II. 71:
Cut down all the ingredients, and put them in a jar; cover it close, and set it in an oven or over a stove for a half hour; add the boiling water, and let the preparation stove slowly till wanted.
Sc. 1844 G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 16:
Stove him [a fish] weel wi' wine an' spice, And butter in the bree.
Ayr. 1867 J. K. Hunter Artist's Life 9:
She gave me my dinner of stoved potatoes.
Fif. 1896 A. M. Houston Auchterderran (1924) 135:
A spoonful of cold stoved potatoes.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle iii.:
There was beef padovies and stoved howtowdies.
Sc. 1909 Cookery Bk. Lady Clark of Tillypronie (Frere) 532:
Scotch Stoved Potatoes. Peel them, and put in a pan with about 2 tablespoonfuls of water. Sprinkle them with a little salt and add a tiny bit of butter here and there. Cover close and simmer till soft and melted.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 13:
Kitcheen-fei was especially used when “stoavin taatihs.”
Sc. 1949 A. K. Taylor From Gsw. Slum to Fleet Street 15:
“Stoved tatties” . . . a great potful of potatoes and onions, with a little fat at the bottom, and tuppence worth of bitties (little bits of meat), and browned to the colour of toasted scones.

Hence in reduced dim. forms stovie, -y tatties (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein), stovy (Rxb. 1942 Zai), stovocks, stovers (Edb. 1971), stovies (Gen.Sc.), = stoved potatoes above.Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 366:
“What dae ee get tae yer denner?” “Stovocks.”
Sc. 1895–6 Royal Caled. Curling Club Annual 120:
The savoury stovies are simmerin grand.
Per. 1907 Ochtertyre Ho. Bk. (S.H.S.) 258:
Stovies, potatoes stewed fine with dripping or fat bacon, onions and spice, and served hot.
Rxb. 1921 Kelso Chron. (8 April) 4:
A dinner usual in pig killing seasons had for ingredients, sliced potatoes, onions and spare parts of pork disposed in layers. This dish was called ‘stovie tatties.'
Abd. 1953 People's Journal (14 Nov.):
I wasn't long in discovering there are two varieties of ‘stovies', the ‘barfit' and the ‘high-heelers'. The ‘barfit' ones, as their name implies, consisted of roast fat, onions and seasoned potatoes, whereas the ‘high-heelers' contained plenty of left-over meat.
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 36:
Or she used dripping and a little sausage meat instead, and the tatties were turned into stovies. The simple wooden chapper and spurtle were the tools that worked the magic, and the results were served up on the faded azure background of willow-patterned bowls and plates and dishes ...
Sc. 1988 Times 6 Mar :
Walking back up the short harbour road, you pass five shops and the cafe where Sheila McIntosh makes stovies (the stewed potatoes and onion that are Scotland's other national dish), served with fresh brown bread.
Fif. 1991 John Brewster in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 165:
On heel ens o toast;
Oatcake peppered stovies,
steamed on soup plates.
Sc. 1992 Herald 28 Feb 10:
Food in the new Bert's Bar in Glasgow's St Enoch Square goes right back to basics - piping-hot Scottish steak and mutton pies made on the premises, mushy peas and vinegar, homemade stovies, and other titillations for the palate.
Rnf. 1993 History on your Doorstep, The Reminiscences of the Ferguslie Elderly Forum 15:
And you used to make stovies; they were a great thing, because you had about a half pound of mince round about 20 of us.
Gsw. 1995 Chris Dolan Poor Angels 62:
... Afternoon free, Evening Meal (Herring in Oatmeal), then the Concert Hall (Popular Classics); Day 4: Edinburgh (Christine to organise lunch), Evening Meal (stovies).
Sc. 1995 Daily Record 13 May 11:
Star guests at the Edinburgh premiere of Hollywood blockbuster Rob Roy will be fed stovies. And they'll scoff their fodder in a fairytale forest of 300 trees in a massive tent in Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens.
Sc. 1999 Sunday Business 3 Oct 36:
The Taste of Scotland scheme seeks to revive and revitalise traditional Scottish country cooking. Restaurants in the scheme offer dishes such as cullen skink, a rich potato broth flavoured with finnan haddock; "Arbroath smokies", smoked haddock; "stovies with neeps", a mix of mince and potatoes with turnips; and ham hocks in a thick lentil sauce.
Sc. 2004 Evening Times 2 Dec 18:
Some of the dishes include Laphroaig and Dill Marinaded Orkney Organic Salmon, Aberdeen Angus Fillet Steak au Poivre, with Stovies and Wild Mushrooms and Cloutie Dumpling with Brandy Butter.

(2) to steam (cloth) in bleaching.s.Sc. 1809 T. Donaldson Poems 136:
Stoving them [blankets] 's the warst o' a', An' staps my breath.

2. intr. To steam, to emit vapour; of smoke: to billow, pour out in clouds; to reek with liquor. Hence stovin, drunk (Gsw. 1960 People's Jnl. (1 Oct.) 6; Slg., wm.Sc. 1971).Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 164:
A long table where the carles smoak, so that, when a scoot passes, you see the smoak stoving out at the windows.
wm.Sc. 1841 Whistle-Binkie 107:
Wi' gude whisky toddy a' stovin'.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxix.:
I had the kettle stovin' an' reekin' like a steam engine.
Gsw. 1884 H. Johnston Martha Spreull 141:
Stovin' wi' drink from the hour she entered the place.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xviii.:
The man's fair stoving wi' MacShimi's drink.
Fif. 1932 People's Journal (6 Aug.):
Those pie-boys were a weekly feature of life in Newburgh sixty years ago. As they went about the streets selling their wares on Saturday nights they say the refrain: Buy my lot penny pies, Stovin' and reekin', Hettin' and pipin'.
Gsw. 1936 F. Niven Old Soldier x.:
I could smell him fair stoving with liquor.

[O.Sc. stove, to take a steam-bath, 1456, to stew, 1631.]

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"Stove n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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