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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STOOKIE, n., adj. Also stooka, -ey, stoukie, stucky; stooga (ne.Sc.). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. stucco. See P.L.D. § 40. [′stuki, -kə; ne.Sc. + ′stugə]

I. n. 1. As in Eng., plaster of Paris, the plaster used to encase a broken limb. Gen.Sc.; pipeclay (Lnk., Gall. 1971); transf. a nickname for a plasterer (Per. 1971). Freq. attrib. as in stookie eemage, -man(nie), mumie, a plaster statue(tte) (Mry., Bnff. 1921 T.S.D.C.), an effigy; a scarecrow (Fif. 1950).Edb. 1796 Edb. Mag. (May) 385:
The carved wood an' polish'd stoukie.
Fif. 1865 St Andrews Gazette (1 April):
I am no tae stand like some simpeltin or stookie-mumie.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 27:
There he stüde, like a muckle stucky eemage.
Bnff.6 1930:
The wife bocht a stooga mannie this foreneen fae a foreign-lookin bodie.
Lnk. 1948 Proc. Sc. Anthrop. & Folklore Soc. III. iii. 83:
When the doorstep had been washed, the careful housewife would draw designs and patterns with white “stookie.”
Edb. 1968, letter from child in hospital:
My stooky halfed in two and I had to go back into hospital.
Sc. 1989 Scotsman (9 Mar) 14:
The Lord Provost of Edinburgh fell
Down the stairs on her bahookie;
Though she was sober
She couped right over -
And now she's wearing a stookie.
m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 31:
Ah don't suppose ye could go very far wi a stookie though!
Sc. 1995 Scotsman (6 Feb) 16:
Part of his last birthday present was a course of driving lessons that had to be postponed on account of the stookie on his leg acquired through playing football.
Dmf. 1997 Nell Thomson Spit the First Sook 6:
The lobby floor was scrubbed and a border put round with white stookie, usually in a figure-of-eight pattern. I wonder why - or would it just be the fashion at the time?
Gsw. 1998 Alan Spence Way to Go (1999) 214:
'You want to be buried in a plaster cast?' I asked him. 'Like a mummy?'
He shook his head, laughed. 'Naw! I want a box, but just a simple white job. And I want everybody to write on it, wee messages and that, drawings.'
'Like a stookie. Right.'
'I always mind it when I broke my arm. The things people wrote on it! So that's what I want.'
Sc. 1999 Herald (5 Oct) 11:
... I have time to buy two stookie figures of an old man and an old woman feeding hens from the Bosnia charity shop, 2 a head, and to watch a wee red West Coast Motor chugging off to Kilmory.

2. A plaster statue, a stucco figure; an Aunt Sally at a fair (Fif. 1971). Freq. in phr. to stand like a stookie, to stand in a helpless, bemused manner as if incapable of stirring oneself. Gen.Sc.Ags. 1893 Arbroath Guide (30 Dec.):
I was sittin' mumpin' there, like a stucco.
Lnk. 1895 W. C. Fraser Whaups xv.:
Jamie sat like a stookey wi' a face as red as a partan's tae.
e.Lth. 1896 J. Lumsden Battles 142:
Nor less renown'd for living folk than for stookies o' the deid.
Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 137:
I juist stood like a stookie, thowless an' donnert.
Abd. 1923 Swatches o' Hamespun 70:
Rob steed like a stooka for a meenit.
Edb. 1938 Fred Urquhart Time Will Knit (1988) 210:
I was standing like a stooky, wondering about it and beginning to feel cold, ...
wm.Sc. 1948 Abd. Press & Jnl. (27 May):
The civic representatives all standing like “stookies” as they had not got the words of the Psalm they were singing.
Edb. 1969:
Soople? He's as soople as a stookie!
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 38:
Me? I stood like a stooka
Feelin' a' the kins' o' a goat
wm.Sc. 1985 Alastair MacLean The Lonely Sea (1986) 9:
We just sat there like a lot of stookies, Seumus Grant with his expressionless face...
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 66:
stooky Plaster, probably derived from stucco. A stooky is a plaster-cast on a broken limb, or a stupid or excessively formal person. To stooky someone is to hit him very hard, knock him out. This has obvious similarities to stiffen.
Sc. 1991 Scotsman (12 Dec) 12:
The men were standing like stookies - but the woman, Joy Innes, was shown kicking her leg in the air, a stock device of tabloid photographers everywhere.
Gsw. 1994 Herald (27 Aug) 9:
It concerns the Three Graces, represented by a stookie, over which there is currently much furore.
Sc. 1995 James S. Adam New Verses for an Auld Sang 16:
Thon braw muckle stookie o Weelam Wallys i Union Terrace, Aiberdeen, has a wheen o sayins o Wallys roun about its found.
m.Sc. 1999 John Milligan Fifteen Scots Poems 12:
Onyway, there he was, quite jocko, stiff as a stookie
Fixed in a commanding place in the majestic sky
Like a visiting airy-plane in a small vista of Princes Street.
wm.Sc. 2000 Liz Lochhead Medea 41:
all our blood run cold
stuck there as we were like stookies
wi the horror of it

3. Hence a slow-witted dull or shy person, a blockhead, a “stick” (n. and m.Sc., Rxb. 1971). Also attrib.Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 3:
Do you think 1 could lie still and hearken to the muckle stookies bletherin?
e.Lth. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 193:
Because, ye stupid stookie, I step aside for none!
s.Sc. 1991:
A stookie is a person who is slow to react.
Sc. 1993 Scotsman (29 Oct):
So it came as no surprise when he described the Scottish Office minister Allan Stewart as a "stookie" at Scottish Questions. What did come as a surprise yesterday, though, was when the bods at Hansard sent him a memo, asking: "What is a stookie? How is it spelt? Was it used in reference to undersecretary of State?" Since we can only assume the House of Commons library has a copy of Chambers Scots Dictionary which defines the word as "foolish person; blockhead" we can only conclude that the compilers of Hansard are the biggest stookies of them all.
Sc. 2002 Scotsman (26 Aug) 13:
It is too easy to explain this away by reference to the stookie-like qualities of many MSPs. Even stookies can have their day and be gripped by a strong contention which they might express with passion, conviction, and some clarity. It happens at Westminster, and that place is teeming with stookies.
Edb. 2004:
She's no gaun oot wi yon stookie, is she?

4. In pl.: a children's game in which the players have to stand (or lie) absolutely motionless and impassive despite the efforts of the other players to make them react by pulling or teasing them (Edb. 1960; Ayr. 1969 I. & P. Opie Children's Games 246; em., wm.Sc., Dmf. 1971).Ags.19 1948:
Stookies. A game in which “hit” seized the right hand of each player and swung him round. Each had to stand stock-still exactly as he landed. The one who did so longest and looked funniest became “hit.”
Edb. 2004:
We yaised tae play at stookies in the street.

II. adj. Standing stock still, stiff, motionless; bashful, awkward (Slk. 1910 Scotsman (26 May)).Gsw. 1958 C. Hanley Dancing in the Streets 29:
The lantern nights were something of a return to the primitive — stooky pictures, I mean to say . . . . As well as being stooky (still), the characters in “The Wrong Door” wore the proletarian uniform of a generation earlier.

III. v. To hit very hard. Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 66:
stooky Plaster, probably derived from stucco. A stooky is a plaster-cast on a broken limb, or a stupid or excessively formal person. To stooky someone is to hit him very hard, knock him out. This has obvious similarities to stiffen.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Elder Stookie 16:
"Na," said Harper, "but she should, because I'm gonny stookie ye, Stookie Doyle."
Gsw. 1990:
Ah stookied a bouncer at the jiggin.
Edb. 1992:
If you don't shut up A'll stookie ye!

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"Stookie n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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