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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Stal(l, Sta(w, n. Also: stalle, staale, stalȝe. [ME and e.m.E. stall (Orm), stal (Layamon), OE steall, ON stallr, MDu., MLG stal, OF estal (13th c. in Wartburg), stail, staul (both Metz, 1306, 1393 in Wartburg), Frankish *stall, med. L. stallum.]

1. a. Each of a row of enclosed seats in the choir of a cathedral, collegiate church or chapter-house for the use of the clergy, religious or canons. Also attrib. with silver. b. transf. An office or benefice connected with the Chapter or choir of a cathedral, etc. c. A seat or (enclosed) pew intended for the use of persons of special importance or dignity in a post-Reformation church. 1239–40 Reg. Episc. Morav. 106.
[Itatem est quod quotiens vocandus fuerit aliquis canonicus … sufficiet ipsum citari in choro et in stallo suo et in prebenda sua
1328 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 49.]
Ecclesia … qui stallum in choro locum et vocam in capitulo … habebit
a. ? 1459 Reg. Paisley vi n.
Maid staitlie stallis, and glasynit mekle of all the kirk
c1500 Coll. St. Salvator 158.
The bukis for the quher … Ane salter befor the licentiatis stal strenyeit
1506–7 Reg. Episc. Glasg. II 612.
Fife silouris for the covering of the stallis tuenty fute lang
1507 Aberd. B. Rec. I 77.
[He] sale … big, oupmak, … and complet the xxxiiij stallis in thar queir
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) lxvi 49.
Sum, vnworthy to browk ane stall, Wald clym to be ane cardinall
1531 Bell. Boece II 295.
The teith of this bair … hingis now … on the stallis of the queir
1548 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) Kings Advocate v. Prov. of St. Giles.
His stall of the college kirk of Sanct Gile
1552–3 Edinb. Old Acc. II 15.
For ane ulkis laubor in the fluring of the soill of the stall
1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. II 74.
For sawing of xvj winshot to Our Ladye stallis
a1568 Bann. MS 158b/94.
Fathir abbott of this ordour is sett in his hie stall To be maister as Ser Mallapert
1574 Reg. Privy C. II 391.
That the preystis stallis and bakkis of altaris be removed
1574 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II 385.
To the pynoris for transporting of said forparts of the stallis
(b) 1559 Edinb. B. Rec. III 45.
For keping of Sanct Gelys kirk and vphald of the stawis of the queyr
attrib. 1511 Reg. Privy S. I 340/2.
Liberi … a solutione cujusdam antique pensionis vulgariter vocate stalsilver solute singulis annis preteritis stallario in eadem ecclesia cathedrali Dunblanense
b. 1555 Reg. Cupar A. II 125.
Payand ȝerly thairfor [sc. a tack] … togidder with ten pundis ȝerlie to the vicare of the said kirk … ten merkis money to the stall of Abirden
1575 Reg. Privy S. VII 35/2.
The … stall, office and chaiplanrie callit the beddelrie of the queir of Brechin … vaikis be demission of schir Alexander Moreis … thairfoir gevand … to the said James Ramsay all and haill the said stall, office and chaiplanrie for … sevin yeiris
(b) 1611 Craven Ch. in Orkney II 109.
Chaplanries, altaradges, stoukes, stalȝeis, and all wther benefices, great and small, within the countries of Orknay and Yetland
c. c1555 Crail Ch. Reg. 65.
Ane baitkyne of arres werk for the provest stalle
1566–7 Edinb. Old Acc. II 236.
The eist dur of the stall quhair the provest and counsell sittis
1629 Orkney Rentals App. 51.
Whosoever … shall sitt within the seatts commonly called the stals, above the doores new made, except gentlemen, strangers or elders of the session … shall pay to the boxe sixe shillings

2. Accommodation usu. for one animal, a division in a stable, etc. for this purpose. Also attrib. with maister.(a) ?1438 Alex. ii 3720.
We sall Bynd vp the oxin in the stall
a1500 K. Hart 614.
The steid is stollin … the stall is tume
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 128/63.
Thocht in the stall I be nocht clappit As cursouris that [etc.]
1535 Stewart 44494.
Neuir ane ox wes ȝokkit into bow, Bot lay full still into thair stall
1536–7 Treas. Acc. VI 463.
To by canwes to be stallis and bosteris to the Kingis hors in the schip
1618 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 95.
In making of a sled, hors stallis [etc.]
1658 Scot. Ant. IX 50.
That Besse Paton ȝeardit raw flesh and salt wnder the horse stall
(b) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 126/11.
Gryt court hors puttis me fra the staw [: knaw, draw]
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 158.
Thow passit … in the byre … and … efter thow haid sittin downe in the staw, befoir the cowis heid [etc.]
(c) 1615 Inverness Rec. II 138.
Thou … art indyttit of … steling fra vmquhill James Bain out of his house in the month of November 1614 and lay darvit in the sta of his horse quhill midnicht and than ȝou raise and tuik away [etc.]
attrib. 1646 Army of the Covenant II 499.
Payed to John Hoome stallmaister

3. A market-stall or stand for the display and sale of merchandise. Also ? transf. such stalls or the stall-holders as a group. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 29 (A).
Quhat sa merchand that has couerit his stal in the merket on the merkat day sal pay i obl. to custom & he that has na couerit stal sal pay i ferding
1456 Acts II 47/1.
Of gret stallis of merchandice the quhilkis cumis on hors bakkis or coueryt cramys that occupyis the faris
1508 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 114.
That … thai sall haif thair stall and standis weill tentit … and thair flesche thair offerit to sell to be coverit
1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 35.
Ilk ane that is a taxar the tyme his stall beis taxit [etc.]
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Stallangiatores.
Creamers, or forrainemerchandes, quha within burgh … payis certaine dewtie for their stall or stande
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Dyour.
His bank, stall, or seate, quhair he vsed his trafficque of before
? transf. 1492 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 65.
To gadder in the vnlawis of thame that set furth na fyrris … the ain half thairof to the stallis

4. ? A storage place. Cf. Warestall n. 1552–3 Edinb. Old Acc. I 84.
For ane dosone of garrownis to be stallis to the barrois and uthers necessaris

5. Quarters, a space, a cubicle in an almshouse 1584 Glasgow B. Rec. I 115.
Stallaris and possessouris of the stallis and beddis of the said hospitall
1595 Misc. Maitl. C. I 75.
Thaj salbe deposed fra thair stallis in the almoushous of Glasgw

6. fig. The place or position occupied by a person. a1568 Bann. MS 26b/67.
And humill pepill sall occupy his place And peax salbe seisit in his stall [: all]
1622 Melrose P. 462.
The nobleman … bearing the weghtie end of the barrow, made my charge light at the lower staale
1626 Garden Worthies 122.
Most by the means of mony … to Honors highest stall are stowne

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



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