Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

STATHEL, n., v. Also -le, -oll, -al; staithel, stethle, -ol; stuthil; staddle, -del, staidel (Cai.); and irreg. forms staffle, stassel (Jam.). Cf. Stale, n.1 [steθl, stɑθl; stedl, stɑdl]

I. n. 1. The foundation of a stack of grain, consisting of a circular platform of stones, stone or timber props or cast-iron, to deter vermin from climbing in and to keep the stack dry at the bottom (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., stathel, stassel; Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. I. 395; Per., Fif. 1915–26 Wilson; Cai., Mry., em.Sc. (a), Dmf. 1971). Also attrib. Also in Eng. dial.Ags. 1768 F. Cruickshank Navar (1899) 13:
Two stone stathels, consisting of nine pillars and nine bonnets.
Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 516:
A better method is to build the stacks upon what is called Statholls.
Bwk. 1809 R. Kerr Agric. Bwk. 498:
Placing the ricks on staddles, or frames, with feet which cannot be scaled, would be an excellent and effectual defence [from rats and mice].
Knr. 1813 J. Bruce The Farmer 15:
Soon as your stuffs come to the yard, On stuthils fixt.
Sc. 1826 The Elfin Knight in Child Ballads No. 2. F. xii.:
And ye maun big it in the sea, And bring the stathle dry to me.
Fif. 1832 Fife Herald (27 Sept.):
Two stacks of oats, standing on stathels.
Ayr. 1866 Trans. Highl. Soc. 60:
Stacks on farms where stathels are not in use.
Fif. 1916 G. Blaik Rustic Rhymes 180:
When a' the stuff was cut an' won, An' ilka stathel laden.
Cai. 1961 Edb. John o' Groat Liter. Soc. 5:
So wi' many a lark 'e corn wis threshed, An' 'e stadels came in view.
Abd. 1967 Abd. Press and Jnl. (15 March):
“Stethle” stones — stones that had once been used as a platform for building corn-stacks.

2. The main body of a corn-stack, the part below the eaves, a corn-stack in the process of building or dismantling (s.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Cai., Abd. 1971); a small temporary stack or rick (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 181, staidel). Also in n.Eng. dial.Ags. 1736 Arbroath T.C. Rec. MS. (22 Jan.):
A Stackhead of Pease . . . the Stathel of Bear under the said Pease.
Abd. 1903 Banffshire Jnl. (29 Sept.) 3:
Prodding around the staffle or stem of the rick.
Abd. 1951 Buchan Observer (11 Sept.):
To carry the drip from the roof of the rick the better over its “stathel,” or body.
em.Sc. 1965 Scots Mag. (July) 314:
The stethles were next the stack-yard dyke, and they stood in a single row like beehives on stone stilts.

II. v. 1. To build a stathel. Vbl.n. stethlin, staddlin, the foundations of a stack, the materials used for such (Sc. 1887 Jam., staddlin; Per. 1971); the discoloured mark on the grass left by a hay-rick after standing in a field in bad weather (Id.).Per.4 1950:
Gaither up some odds and ends for the stethlin.
Ags. 1971 Dundee Courier (11 Jan.):
We set the bosses in a raw, And stethelled them wi' broom.

2. To build hay or corn, in small temporary stacks (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 181).

[O.Sc. stathill, = 2., 1621, O.E. staðol, a foundation, base. The form staffle is paralleled in the 18th c. Eng. forms staffold, stavel.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Stathel n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: