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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.

STOCK, n.1, v. Also stok(e). Sc. usages. [stok]

I. n. 1. A block of wood, a log, a tree-stump (Bnff., Abd. 1971). Obs. or dial. in Eng. See Fir, 2., (7).Abd. 1906 Banffshire Jnl. (26 June):
Wha in the aumrie stowed their trock And keepit aye a fine fir stock.

2. A door-post. Obs. in Eng.Wgt. 1726 Session Rec. Whithorn MS. (9 June):
To a big stock to the Kirk door . . . £1. 10s.

3. A board or bench in an open-air market on which wares are displayed.Ags. c.1820 J. M. Beatts Reminisc. (1882) 10:
The fishermen personally exposed their fish for sale to the public in the Fish Market (now Green Market), for the convenience of which traffic boards, or “stocks”, were supplied by the burgh authorities.

4. The outer edge of a bed, orig. of a box-or cupboard-bed, the wooden rail at the front over which one climbs into bed, the side of a bed, esp. an enclosed bed, away from the wall (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Uls. 1931 Northern Whig (16 Dec.) 9; Sh., Kcd., Per., Slg., Bte., Ayr., Dmf. 1971). Obs. in Eng.Wgt. 1723 Session Bk. Penninghame (1933) I. 511:
She came and lay in the bed side betwixt him and the stock.
Sc. 1776 Lord Ingram in Child Ballads No. 66 C. xxviii.:
He turned his face unto the stock, And sound he fell asleep.
Dmf. 1808 R. Cromek Remains 278:
Lie at the bed stock an' ye'll be as lean as me.
Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 300:
It's a shame to see her sleepin at the stock — the wife should aye lie neist the wa'
Cld. 1856 Specification (per wm.Sc.1):
The kitchen beds to be all fitted up with wooden haffets, lintels and stocks at least ten inches broad.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man xlvii.:
Betwixt barn-door and bed-stock.
Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse 65:
My brithers, wha lay atween me and the stock.
Uls. 1953 Traynor:
They at the wall will get the gold ball, They at the middle will get the gold fiddle. They at the stock will get the gold rock.

Hence stockit, of a bed; furnished with a stock. A stockit bed, a box-bed.Abd. 1883 W. Jolly J. Duncan 116:
The three box or “stockit” beds.
Sc. 1933 E. S. Haldane Scotland of Our Fathers 306:
In box beds, or “stockit beds” as they were called.

5. A saddle-tree, the wooden foundation of a saddle on which the leather is sewn.Sc. 1714 Atholl MSS.:
A Hunting Stock . . . Two little Hunting Stocks.
Sc. 1733 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 175:
The pannel of an auld led-saddle, And Rob my eem hecht me a stock.

6. The part of a plough to which the share was attached in the old wooden plough, the Sheth. Used with a double entendre in the first quot.Sc. 18th c. Merry Muses (1911) 79:
The plough she took a stane, jo, Which gart the fire flee frae the stock.
Abd. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (29 May) 3:
On an old plough being dismantled, withdrawing the “stock” or “sheath” taxed all our resources.

7. The body or fixed part of a slide-rule.Sc. 1776 Weaver's Index 98:
Set the divisor on the slide to 1 on the stock, and opposite to the dividend on the slide will be found the quotient of answer on the stock.

8. The socket of a drone in a set of bagpipes to which the bag is tied.Sc. 1901 W. L. Manson Highl. Bagpipe 71:
The bag is formed of sheepskin, in which are securely fastened five pieces of turned wood called stocks.
wm.Sc. 1906 H. Foulis Vital Spark xiv.:
There's nothing will put a pipe bag in trum but some treacle poured in by the stock.
Sc. 1966 F. Collinson Trad. Music Scot. 169:
The small-pipes, both Lowland and Highland, are alike in other respects, and all have drones in one stock.

9. In flax-dressing: the mallet or beater used in skutching; the block of wood into which the teeth of the ripple are inserted.Ags. 1794 J. Roger Agric. Ags. 11–12:
The practice of skutching flax with the stock and hand, is now almost totally extinguished.
Rxb. 1805 A. Scott Poems 22:
Ye didna ken but syle o' kipple Or stock to some auld wife's lint-ripple Might be your fate.

10. The main piece of wood on which a spinning-wheel rests, the board or body supported on the legs.Sc. c.1820 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes (1870) 171:
Haud away rocks, and haud away reels, Haud away stocks and spinning wheels.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 41:
My mither . . . Bang'd her bobbin down on the wheel stock.

11. The hard stalk or stem of a plant, esp. a cabbage or other of the brassica family. See Castock; the whole plant (Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 50; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Sh. 1971). Freq. in references to these as a means of divination at Halloween or Hogmanay (see Burns Halloween Notes).Sc. 1732 Six Saints (Fleming 1901) II. 33:
They cut four stocks of kail to save their lives.
Abd. 1735 J. Arbuthnot Bch. Farmers 15:
After the Brier-Blade falls, the Corn makes no Progress, till the Stock be form'd.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Halloween ii.:
To burn their nits, an' pou their stocks, An' haud their Halloween.
Fif. 1832 Fife Herald (23 Aug.):
[Prize] for the best Four Stocks of Green Coss Lettuce.
Sc. 1887 Jam.:
The stocks pulled by persons holding Halloween were whole plants. The head or top of the plant, i.e. the edible portion, is also called a stock. “Bring in a guid kale-stock and a weel-filled cabbage stock for the broth the day.”

12. The yellow globe-flower. Trollius europaeus.Bwk. 1842 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1849) 15:
The Berwickshire name for this plant, viz. Stocks, should justify its propriety, the flower being an admirable miniature of a “closed cabbage-stock”.

13. A pack of playing cards (Sh., Per. 1941). Obs. in Eng.Sc. 1700 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 271:
For a stock of carts . . . 4s.
Lnk. 1733 Session Papers, Neilson v. Weir (25 June) 4:
Twenty three Stock of playing Cards.

14. (1) In assessment for teinds, that proportion of the crop or other produce left over after the amount apportioned to teinds had been withdrawn in kind or its monetary equivalent.Sc. 1705 W. Forbes Church-Lands 360:
The Possessor may safely Teind his own Corn, and carry away the Stock, leaving the separate Teind upon the Ground.
Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 979:
The yearly duty payable by the heritor to the titular or beneficiary should be one-fifth of that whole annual valuation of the rent of stock and tithe together.
Sc. 1928 A. Birnie Hist. of Teinds 43:
The rent was usually calculated at a third of the stock plus the teind; in this instance [of 100 bolls produce] 30 bolls plus 10 bolls.

(2) A number of sheaves of grain selected as an average specimen for assessing the value of the crop.Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 180:
He begins by throwing down 20 sheaves which are called the “stock”, he then turns up three sheaves which he considers, choosing that one of them which he accounts of the same bulk, or most nearly equal in value, to the 20 of the stock.

15. In dim. form stockie: a piece of cheese or fish between two slices of bread, a cheese or fish sandwich (Fif. 1808 Jam.). Obs.

16. Transf. of persons: (1) “one whose joints are stiffened by age or disease” (Sc. 1808 Jam., an auld stock); an old gnarled wizened creature.Ork. 1968 M. A. Scott Island Saga 156:
She was stolen, and in her place was a “stock”.

(2) a thick-set well-built person, prob. a specif. use of (3) rather than a direct development of 1.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 183:
He's a brow stock o' cheel.

(3) used, now gen. with kindly or sympathetic, or sometimes slightly disparaging, force: a chap, fellow, “bloke” (ne.Sc., Ags. 1971). In Ags. applied also to women, and in 1934 quot. to a horse. Also in n.Eng. dial. Dim. stocky.Mry. 1810 J. Cock Simple Strains 131:
Ye blatherin' stoke! I bid ye speak mair sparin'.
Sc. 1828 The Twa Magicians in Child Ballads No. 44. v.:
Ere a rusty stock o coal-black smith My maidenhead should have.
Ags. 1866 R. Leighton Poems 317:
I'm an easy auld stock.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxvi.:
Ga'in was a “fine stock” with a fluent . . . power of “newsin'”.
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister vi.:
She was couthie, but no sair in order . . a tasty stocky, but gey orra put on.
Ayr. 1896 H. Johnston Dr Congalton i.:
He was but a “puir stock”, and needed “haudin' in”.
e.Lth. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 10:
Ye glaiket, fuisted, gray-green, auld stock.
Uls. 1903 E.D.D.:
Well, old stock, how are ye the day?
Abd. 1913 D. Scott Hum. Sc. Stories 71:
An awfa saft, quaet, easy-ozy kin' o' a stock.
Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song (1937) 129:
Chae boasted it was his help put in the old Liberal stock.
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 25:
Peer aul' stock, ye've ser't me weel for five-an'-twenty years.
Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 14:
Her man was sic a sober, hard-workin stock.

17. Phrs. and combs.: (1) stock and brock, one's whole property (Sc. 1825 Jam.); ¶also adv., in every respect, every whit. Brock is a corruption of orig. block, by conflation with Brock, n.2; (2) stock and horn, “a toast commonly given by farmers, including sheep stock and horned cattle” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.), with a play on stock-an-horn s.v. Stock, n.2; (3) stock and stow, (every) bit and piece. See Stow, n.2; (4) stock-annet, -at, stok-, ¶-gannet, ¶stocknit, the sheldrake, Tadorna tadorna (Ayr. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 305, stocknit; e.Sc. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 154; Ags., Fif., Kcb., Dmf. 1971) [′stok′ɑnət]; (5) stock-boat, a boat used by herring-curing firms for transport of cured fish and equipment between outlying fishing-stations and the firms' depots (Sh., Bnff., Abd. 1971); (6) stock-duck, stock deuk, stok-duke, -djuk, the wild duck or mallard, Anas platyrrhyncha (Ork. 1805 G. Barry Hist. Ork. 301; Sc. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Ork. 1877 Sc. Naturalist (Jan.) 9; Cai. 1887 Harvie-Brown and Buckley Fauna Cai. 188; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh., Ork. 1971); (7) stock-gander, = (4) (Dmf. 1958 Dmf. and Gall. Standard (21 June)). Phs. a corrupted form due to conflation with gander; (8) stock-hawk, the peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus (Sh. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 139, 1932 J. M. Saxby Trad. Lore 199, Sh. 1971); †(9) stock owl, the eagle owl, Bubo bubo, “from its habit of pressing against the stem (stock) of a tree with unruffled feathers, so as to assimilate itself to the stump and elude notice” (Ork. 1805 G. Barry Hist. Ork. 312, 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 130); ¶(10) stock-saint, a wooden image of a saint; (11) stock-stone,? an anchor stone; (12) stock-storm, snow which lies unmelted on the ground for an unduly long time, looked on as a sign of more to come, a feeding-storm (see Feed, v., 3.) (Abd. 1808 Jam.); †(13) stock-stove, stok(k) stov(e), wooden planks or logs used in building inner walls in houses and prefabricated in Norway (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl. 1914 Angus Gl.). Also as a v., to construct the framework of a wooden house-wall (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); (14) stock-whaup, -whaap, the curlew, Numenius arquata (Sh. a.1795 G. Low Fauna Orcad. (1813) 80, a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 215, 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1971).(1) Sc. 1936 J. G. Horne Flooer o' Ling 57:
It's a queer warl' this, stock an' brock.
(3) Ayr. 1895 H. Ochiltree Redburn ix.:
It'll be a' yours, ilka stock and stow o't.
(4) Dmf. 1744 W. Fraser Bk. Caerlaverock (1873) II. 375:
Sending him to Traquair with stock-annats for my Lord.
Ags. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XI. 540:
That beautiful bird, the stock-gannet.
Fif. 1863 St Andrews Gazette (5 Dec.):
To be sold — eight beautiful tame stokan-nets.
Gall. 1880 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 34:
The Shieldrake (or Stockannet, as it is locally termed.)
(5) Sc. 1929 A. A. Macgregor Summer Days 102:
Stock-boats from Fraserburgh and Peterhead sail for Barra with cargoes of empty barrels and salt for curing purposes.
(6)Sh. 1992 Bobby Tulloch A Guide to Shetland's Breeding Birds 31:
(Anas platyrhynchos)
shet: Stock Deuk
(10) Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 12:
Their auld dead stock-saint o' wood.
(11) ne.Sc. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads II. 124:
I wish a stock-stone aye on earth, And high wings [winds] on the sea.
(13) Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
These logs connect the corner-posts and are provided with grooves into which the wall-boards fit. As these logs are partly called “pieces o' stokkstovs,” and the framework or the logs partly “part o' a stokkstov”, it may be concluded that stokkstov properly has denoted a room built entirely of such logs.

II. v. 1. intr. Of the body or limbs: to become stiff and unwieldy, to cramp with cold, etc.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
We say that one stocks, or that the limbs stock, from cold or want of exercise.
Ags. 1856 W. Grant Few Poet. Pieces 27:
Until their stiff and stockit shanks Wi' tire are cheepin'.
Gsw. 1868 J. Young Poems 28:
For him, I'm sure, my shanks micht stock.
Slk. 1874 Border Treasury (12 Sept.) 88:
It [horse] was “stocked”, that is, swollen in the legs.
Uls. 1953 Traynor:
Of milch cows: they'll be stocked if they don't get out of the byre sometimes.

Hence ppl.adj. stockit, fig. of the disposition: obstinate, stubborn (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 183; Bnff., Abd. 1971). Cf. obs. Eng. stock, to become stubborn.Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick ii.:
She wis a stockit aal crater.
Abd. 1971 Buchan Observer (1 June) 2:
He is as stocket as a newly cogged calf.

2. As in Eng., to furnish (a farm, etc.) with the necessary stock and equipment. The vbl.n. stockin(g) is in Gen.Sc. usage for the live-stock and gear needed to run a farm (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 182, 1869 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 726).Sc. 1730 T. Boston View of this World (1775) 247:
Abraham was rich in silver and gold, and Job in stocking.
Lnl. 1772 Edb. Ev. Courant (7 May):
The Crop and Stocking on his farm to be rouped.
Sc. 1796 Session Papers, Dundas v. Donaldson (7 July) 7:
Providing a proper stocking for the farm.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xii.:
The furniture and stocking is to be roupit at the same time on the ground.
Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage xi.:
I shall advance you stocking and stedding.
Peb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 III. 139:
The stocking of a sheep-farm is the number of sheep that are smeared and kept through winter.
Per. 1895 I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 157:
Beyond the stockin' on ma fairm, a'm no' worth twa hunder pund.

3. To fund or invest (money), also with out; to accumulate or lay past money. Hence stockit siller, money laid past (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 183).Sc. 1710 Morison Decisions 16187:
Watson bequeathed the sum of 5,400 marks Scots to be stocked in a responsible debtor's hand.
Sc. 1794 Cases Ct. Session (Bell) 76:
The price is to be stocked out for the benefit of the incumbent.

4. Ppl.adj. stocked in phr. stocked multure, a charge paid to a landowner by a tenant who had his corn ground by a mill outside the estate. See Dry, I. 21. and Multure.Bwk. 1758 Session Papers, Lumsdaine v. Fiar (5 Jan.) 7:
They were often in use to pay a dry or stocked Multure when they ground their Corns at any other Mill.

5. Of plants: to send up shoots, to sprout, tiller (n.Sc. 1971); of a cabbage: to form a head (Ags. 1971). Obs. in Eng. Hence stocking, the tillering of grain crops in spring (Sc. 1869 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 726).Abd. 1735 J. Arbuthnot Bch. Farmers 18:
Until the Brier begin to recover after Stocking.
Per. 1799 J. Robertson Agric. Per. 164:
Land in good order ought to be sown thin, because the grain will stock.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
Grass is said to stock when it forms such a stool as to fill the ground and to cover the blank spaces.
Abd. 1948:
The corn breart fine but fanever it startit tae stock, it took the crine.

[O.Sc. stock, of kale, 1600, bench for goods, 1488, a saddle-tree, 1497, stock and teind, 1588, stock-out, a.1688, to invest money, 1675, stokkit, obstinate, 1597. For I. 8. cf. Gael. stoc, with the same meaning, and Stock, n.2 For stock-stove, cf. Faer. stokkastova, a log-cabin.]

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"Stock n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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