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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

STUIR, n. Also sture, stuer, stü(i)r, stör, stuur, stoor. The Dutch stiver or five cents piece, roughly of the value of a British pre-decimal penny; hence by transf. a penny (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1971); in pl.: cash in gen. Phr. to want a sture o' the doit, to be simple-minded, to be mentally deficient (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl. 121). Cf. Doit, n.1, 3. and Penny, 4. (44). [stør]Sh. 1805 Scots Mag. (May) 349:
At Lerwick, and indeed throughout Shetland, Dutch and Danish coins are more common than British. A stuer, or stiver, (a small piece of base metal silvered over), passes in circulation for one penny.
Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 592:
A smuk it wiz wirt twa an a baabee, yea tree stùres.
Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 41:
If I could hev twartree stures i da bank fur me ould age.
Sh. 1948 New Shetlander (March-April) 9:
Three shillings and fivepence ha'-penny, mair dan forty black stuirs, for a paltry ounce of tobacco!
Sh. 1962 New Shetlander No. 60. 27:
He shaa'd dem da kash wi da siller störs an styvers.

[Reduced form of Du. stuiver, Dutch fishermen being constant visitors to Shetland in the 18–19th cs. O.Sc. sture, id., 1499.]

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"Stuir n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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