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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.

STONE, n.1, v.1 Also ston(n). Sc. usages. For Sc. forms see Stane.

I. n. 1. As in Eng. in phrs.: (1) stone and lime, masonry. Gen.Sc. See Lime; (2) to go to the stones, to go to church (Highl. 1825 Jam.), appar. arising from a confusion between clachan, masc. sing., a hamlet, esp. where a church is situated, a kirk-toun, and clachan, fem. pl., of clach, a stone. The Gael. is dol do'n chlachan in the former sense; (3) to the stones be it told, see quot.(1) Sc. 1733 C. D. Bentinck Dornoch (1926) 273:
All vaulted with two foot ston and lime work twixt each vault.
(2) Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XI. 581:
As the Highlanders more frequently say, Will ye go to the stones? or, Have you been at the stones? than, Will you go to, or have you been at church?
(3) Sc. 1815 C. I. Johnstone Clan-Albin II. xxvi.:
When relating any thing calamitous, instead of a direct address to the person with whom they are conversing, the Highlanders tell it as an apart, exclaiming, “To the stones be it told!”

Derivs. and comb.: (1) stonack, -ach, a large brown glazed earthenware marble; (2) ston(e)der, id.; (3) stondie, -y, id. (Abd. 1904 E.D.D., Abd. 1971). See -Die, suff.; (4) stoner, id. (ne.Sc., Slg. 1971); †(5) stonern, made of stone; (6) stone-roller, = (1) (Ork., Abd. 1971); ¶(7) stone-thrust, “a small pier or projecting quay” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). Not otherwise authenticated. Thrust is prob. a corruption of Hirst, n., 2.; (8) stonie(-tig), varieties of the game of tig (see quots.) (Kcb., Dmf. 1971).(1) Inv. 1897 Highland News (27 March):
A beautiful stonach marked like small-pox.
Inv. c.1910 Football Times (28 Aug. 1948):
The “gentleman” of “durbs” was the “stonack,” the “baby” was the “glessack.”
(2) Bnff. 1957 Banffshire Advert. (2 May):
I wis bein' dirl't aboot lik' a stonder in a box.
Abd. 1961 People's Jnl. (3 June) 8:
A bonnie selection o' glassers an' stoneders.
(4) Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Flights 249:
A' kinds o' bools — marble, stoner, and pigger.
(5) Sc. 1753 W. Maitland Hist. Edb. 140, 152:
The Houses are very magnificent Stonern Buildings . . . A stonern Wall, about three Miles in Circumference.
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel ii.:
The West-Port is of stonern work.
(8) Kcb. 1950:
A children's game in which several catchers are appointed, who try to catch all the others and put them in the den. A prisoner is released if touched by one still free. The catcher calls “Stonie!” when he catches someone.
Fif. 1954:
A form of tig in which the tig victims are lined up with arms extended to touch each other in a row, If a free man manages to touch the end of the row the victims are released, but only so far as there is no break in the touching line (like electricity).

2. As in ‡Eng., a testicle. Hence in combs. and in ppl.adj. stoned = male, uncastrated: stone(d) horse, -staig, a stallion (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, stone-horse; I.Sc., Rxb. 1971). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial.Sc. 1703 Atholl MSS.:
Chaseing the horses to take the young stone staig from among them.
Ayr. 1709 Arch. and Hist. Coll. Ayr. & Wgt. IV. 240:
Cureing a mare with the persewer stoned horse.
Abd. 1744 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 134:
One fine old stond horse.
Edb. 1772 Edb. Ev. Courant (4 April):
To be sold, a black stones horse, of English breed, . . . fit to get foals for the coach.
Gall. 1796 J. Lauderdale Poems 89:
Ambition rode a big ston'd horse.

II. v. To set with precious stones, of jewellery.Ayr. 1745 A. Edgar Old Ch. Life (1886) II. 38:
Another [ring] is said to be plain and stoned.
Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 59:
Was't the little stone't ringie?

[For stonern, cf. eastern, northern, etc. and Eng. (rare and obs.) earthern and stoner.]

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"Stone n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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