Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly British A heifer or bullock, especially between one and two years old.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A yearling cow; a young bullock or heifer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A young bullock or heifer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An animal of the ox or cow kind from one to two years old.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. yearling heifer or bullock

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English stīrc; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English stirk, sterke, styrke, from Old English stīrc, stȳrc, stȳric, stīorc ("calf, a stirk, a young bullock or a heifer"), from Proto-Germanic *stiurikaz (“bullock”), diminutive of Proto-Germanic *steuraz (“steer”), equivalent to steer +‎ -ock. Cognate with Middle Low German sterke ("stirk"), Middle Dutch stierick ("stirk"), German Sterk, Stärke, Stark ("stirk"). More at steer. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • 'Well!' she said, 'Yah know, it's getting up like nah (now), between a cah (cow) and a cofe -- what we call a stirk, yah know, Miss Bronte; will yah turn it this way if yah happen to see't, as yah're going back, Miss Bronte; nah DO, Miss

    Life of Charlotte Bronte — Volume 2

  • ‘Well!’ she said, ‘Yah know, it’s getting up like nah (now), between a cah (cow) and a cofe — what we call a stirk, yah know, Miss Bronte; will yah turn it this way if yah happen to see’t, as yah’re going back, Miss Bronte; nah DO, Miss Bronte.’”

    The Life of Charlotte Bronte

  • But beware of MacPhadraick, my son; for when he called himself the friend of your father, he better loved the most worthless stirk in his herd than he did the life-blood of

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • Waverley only showed that he did not understand the state of the country, and of the political parties which divided it; and, standing matters as they did with Fergus Mac – Ivor Vich Ian Vohr, the Baron would make no concession to him, were it, he said, ‘to procure restitution in integrum of every stirk and stot that the chief, his forefathers, and his clan, had stolen since the days of Malcolm Canmore.’

    Waverley

  • “And leave us neither stirk nor stot,” said the youngest brother, who now entered, “nor sheep nor lamb, nor aught that eats grass and corn.”

    The Black Dwarf

  • Briggs was hanging on to a particularly wild stirk, his back towards me, and I'll never know if he was thrown back or one of the other men nudged my arm because next moment he let out an anguished yell.

    Every living thing

  • On the low road it was not so bad; but when we took the hill road again, I fain would have turned my back to the gale, and stood like a stirk on a wet day, but I powled on after Dan, thinking shame of my coward heart.

    The McBrides A Romance of Arran

  • I strained my ears, and far off to the right I heard the sound of cattle bellowing, the snorting low of a stirk upon the hillside when he wonders at the lost pastures of his calfhood in the merry summer before.

    John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

  • I drew nigher without being perceived, and the light still holding, saw that 'twas a young stirk or heifer the man was disembowelling.

    Border Ghost Stories

  • Christsonday cum owt of the snaw in liknes of a staig '; [216] at Auldearne in 1662,' somtym he vold be lyk a stirk, a bull, a deir, a rae, or a dowg '; [217] at Hartford, Connecticut, 1662, Rebecca Greensmith said that

    The Witch-cult in Western Europe A Study in Anthropology

Comments

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  • "'It scarcely matters,' he added, 'as he isna going to tell anyone about it. Because if he does, I shall cut him like a stirk, and feed both his ballocks and his lying tongue to the pigs.'"
    —Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (NY: Bantam Dell, 2001), 789

    January 26, 2010