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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Blak-stane, n. Also: (black) staine, -sten, stone. [Blak a. The origin of the use is obscure.] ‘A darkcoloured stone, used in some of the Scottish universities, as the seat on which a student sits at an annual public examination’; ‘the examination itself’ (J). 1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 75.
Playing the pairt of Regentis quha examining thair disciples on the blak stane … allegis half a sentence of sum placis of Aristotle
1600-1610 Melvill 28.
We … maid us for our Vicces and Blakstens, and haid at Pace our promotion and finissing of our course
1647 in Dalzel Hist. Univ. Edinb. (1862) II. 143.
When students are examined publicly on the Black-staine, before Lammas
1659 Mun. Univ. Glasg. III. 433.
That at the examinatione and lauriatione, eache persone when he comes to the Black Stone, bring the Questores certificat that he hath satisfied according to the rates before mentioned

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"Blak-stane n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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