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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.



stirk (plural stirks)

  1. (Britain, Scotland, dialect, dated) A yearling cow; a young bullock or heifer.
    • 1932, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song, Polygon 2006 (A Scots Quair), p. 20:
      he could stop a running stirk by the horns, so strong he was in the wrist-bones.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      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 MacTavish Mhor.