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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

STIEL, n. Also steel, steil, steal, still. [stil]

1. The handle of a barrow, plough, etc., a stilt (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl., steil; Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 467; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1971). Also in Eng. dial.e.Lth. 1812 Foord Acct. Bk. MS. 121:
To mending a wheel barrou with 2 Stills.
Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 95:
While I held up my barrow steel, Wi' lades o' stanes.
ne.Sc. 1909 G. Greig Folk-Song vii. 1:
Sae weel's they banged the barrow steels.

2. A leather protector for a sore finger, a finger stall (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1971). It is somewhat uncertain whether this is the same word as 1. Cf. Stuil, n., 7. and Finger, n., 5.

[O.Sc. stele, id., of a barrow, 1515, Mid.Eng. stele, a handle, shaft, O.E. stela, stalk, stem.]

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"Stiel n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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