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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.

STIRLING, prop. n. The town of that name on the Forth, the site of a royal castle and garrison, and since 1967 of a University, formerly also noted for brewing and weaving. Combs. 1. Stirling jug, the actual vessel used as the standard pint measure of Scotland, still preserved in Stirling Museum; the measure it contained. See Joug, 2.; 2. Stirling pint, id. See Pint; 3. Stirling plaid, a plaid of tartan cloth woven at the village of Bannockburn near Stirling (see Scots Mag. (Oct. 1963) 34–42); 4. Stirling searge, a thick serge cloth manufactured in Stirling in the 18th c.; 5. Stirling sma, a light ale brewed in Stirling; 6. Stirling tartan, see quot. and cf. 3. [′stɪrlɪŋ , -lɪn]1. Sc. 1789 J. Swinton Weights, etc. 8:
In consequence of the commission granted by the act of 1617, the commissioners made the Stirling pint or jug the unit of liquid measure.
Abd. 1811 G. S. Keith Agric. Abd. 552:
The real Stirling jugg, as found at the Union of the two kingdoms, weighed only 26,180 grains.
3. Sc. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XII. 468:
Wearied of barred plaids, they betook themselves to Stirling ones.
4. Sc. 1701 Edb. Gazette (6–10 Feb.):
46 Ells of white Stirling Searge stented. 40 Ells common Red Stirling Searge.
5. wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 93:
Gin I had sent our Stirling sma' as quickly down Craig's closs as I hae done yours, it wad hae ta'en the bark wi't.
6. Sc. 1842 Illustrated London News (3 Oct.) 340:
Stirling, in Scotland, has been long celebrated for its manufacture of this cloth [tartan], and a very fine web, especially of scarlet, which the Highlanders could not produce from their native dye-stuffs, was known as “Stirling Tartan.”

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"Stirling prop. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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