from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A kind of neckcloth worn in a loose and disorderly fashion.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name brought into fashion, after the battle of Steenkirk, for several articles, especially of dress, as wigs, buckles, large neckties, and powder; especially, a cravat of fine lace, loosely and negligently knotted, with long hanging ends, one of which was often passed through a buttonhole.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
MR. RICH: Come, sister, a long periwig and a la mode steenkirk has made a worse face a perfect beau e'er now.
Here Bentley sneezed and coughed both together and came nigh choking outright (a highly dangerous thing in one of his weight), which necessitated my loosening his steenkirk and thumping him betwixt the shoulder-blades, while Jack strode up and down, swearing under his breath, and Mr. Tawnish took another pinch of snuff.
The beau in blue and silver flicked the grains of snuff lightly from the lace of his steenkirk with a white jewelled hand and smiled, slowly nodding his fair curled head.
Now his look had singularly changed, his face was fresher, his eye brighter, though a little feverish in its light, and he wore a new sword and velvet scabbard, a rich lace steenkirk, and a modish coat of pale violet brocade.
_ I hope your lordship is pleased with your steenkirk.
Ladies no longer ogled him and commanded the stopping of their chairs that they might call him to them with coquettish reproaches that he neither came to their assemblies nor bowed and waved hands to them as he sate on the stage at the playhouse; beaux no longer joined him in the coffee-house or on the Mall to ask his opinion of this new beauty or that, and admire the cut of his coat, or the lace on his steenkirk; the new beauty's successes would not be advanced by his opinion -- a man whom tradespeople dun from morn till night has few additions to his wardrobe and wears few novelties in lace.
Your aunt must find you ruffles soon, and a steenkirk. "
"Mr.. Sarah Stout," says the writer, "whose death was charged upon Spencer Cowper, was strangled accidentally by drawing the steenkirk too tight upon her neck, as she, with four or five young persons, were at a game of romp upon the staircase; but it was not done by Mr. Cowper, though one of the company.