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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.

STOCK, n.2 A kind of horn or trumpet, now only in comb. stock-and-horn, stock-in-horn, a type of wind-instrument of the clarinet order (see quots.). Now hist.Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shepherd i. i.:
When I begin to tune my stock and horn.
Sc. 1783 J. Pinkerton Sc. Ballads II. xxix.:
The musical instruments used by these rude minstrels [shepherds], are the common flute, and the stock-and-horn, which is a flute with a small horn fastened to the further end of it, and which forms a vase, in the nature of a bassoon.
Ayr. 1794 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 647:
I much suspect he has, in his plates, mistaken the figure of the stock and horn. — I have, at last, gotten one; but it is a very rude instrument. — It is composed of three parts: the stock, which is the hinder thigh-bone of a sheep, such as you see in a mutton-ham: the horn, which is a common Highland cow's horn, cut off at the smaller end, untill the aperture be large enough to admit the “stock” to be pushed up through the horn, untill it be held by the thicker or hip-end of the thigh-bone; and lastly, an oaten reed exactly cut and notched like that which you see every shepherd-boy have when the corn-stems are green and full-grown. — The reed is not made fast in the bone, but is held by the lips, and plays loose in the smaller end of the “stock”; while the “stock”, and the horn hanging on its larger end, is held by the hands in playing. — The “stock” has six, or seven, ventiges on the upper side, and one back-ventige, like the common flute.
Peb. 1815 in A. Pennecuik Tweeddale 96:
The common flute is an improvement on the original genuine Scottish pastoral pipe, from Stoc, in Gaelic, a pipe called, the Stock-in-horn, consisting of a cow's horn, a bower tree stock, with stops, in the middle, and an oaten reed at the smaller end for the mouth piece.
Sc. 1854 D. Vedder Poems 181:
Auld Scotland, on her stock and horn, Played “Welcome hame” to Robin.
Sc. 1878 P.S.A.S. XII. 377:
Old Scottish musical instrument, called “The Stock-and-Horn”, a species of flageolet 22 inches in length, the pipe of ebony, mounted with bone or ivory, and the lower part of horn. This instrument was not uncommon in the southern districts of Scotland in the last century, but is now rarely to be met with.

[O.Sc. stok horn, a.1500. The instrument was orig. associated with the Highlands and the name may be borrowed from Gael., Ir. stoc, a horn, trumpet, but ultim. derived from O. North. stocc, id., and prob. the same word as Stock, n.1 Cf. I. 8. s.v.]

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"Stock n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2023 <>



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