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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

STAR, n.2 Also starr.

1. One or other of various species of grass or sedge, gen. growing in moorish or boggy ground, the bladder-sedge, Carex vesicaria (Dmf. 1774 Weekly Mag. (7 April) 36), the tufted bog-sedge, Carex caespitosa (Sc. 1777 J. Lightfoot Flora Scotica II. 560), the pink-leaved sedge, Carex panicea (Rnf. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VII. 518), the club-rush, Scirpus maritimus (Abd. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XII. 804) or caespitosus (Abd. 1875 J. Peter Peat Mosses Bch. 13), the common rush, Carex vulgaris (Sc. 1886 B. & H. 452), the heath rush, Juncus squarrosus (Abd. 1891 J. MacDonald Place-Names Strathbogie 186), the tufted hair-grass, Aira caespitosa (Bnff. 1935). It is not certain that all of the above identifications are correct. The word also occurs as an element Star- in place-names, esp. in ne.Sc., Starhill, etc. Also in comb. star-grass, as above. Obs. or dial. in Eng. Adj. starry, covered with star.Sc. 1732 P. Walker Six Saints (Fleming 1901) II. 44:
In the Starry-shaw very near that Benty-rig.
Mry. 1763 Session Papers, Dunbar v. Dunbar State of Process 22:
When he first knew this Starry Ground, there was no Corn growing there.
Mry. 1782 Session Papers, Gordon v. Brander (19 July) State of Process 2:
A species of star-grass, growing to the height of five or six feet, which yielded excellent pasture.
ne.Sc. 1874 W. Gregor Olden Time 16:
A bunch of stars or bruckles to redd the tobacco pipes.
Gall. 1880 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 62:
Carex Ampullacea and Carex Vesicaria when cut young and tender are used as fodder in this part of Scotland, under the name of “star-grass.”
Mry. 1923 J. B. Ritchie Pageant Mry. 34:
Little islands covered with star-grass.
Mry. 1965 Stat. Acc.3 274:
Tenants also used boats for fishing and gathering star-grass.

2. A place over-grown with star.Mry. 1763 Session Papers, Dunbar v. Dunbar State of Process 14:
There was a Place called the Bog and Swell, or Star.

[Mid.Eng. star, rushes, O.N. stǫrr, star-, bent-grass.]

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"Star n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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