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Author Topic: Doing the steeking in the past tense  (Read 4909 times)

Michael Æðeling

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Doing the steeking in the past tense
« on: November 27, 2017, 03:54:18 AM »
Éala all,

I have become a kiltmaker in my spare time. Since January I have made 17 kilts by hand.

In the process of kiltmaking, there is a phase called “doing the steeking”, from the OE word “stekan” (with a “k”, but I suspect was originally “stecan”) meaning to transfix one thing to another by sticking it with a sharp object. In this case, the inside of the pleats are “steeked” in order that they do not sag in the middle.

The word “steek” is lost to New English but was preserved in Scots/Lallan, but as far as I know is only used in kiltmaking. It is cognate with “stick”.

But kiltmakers never write or say “steeked”. They always speak of “doing the steeking”, as in “I did the steeking”.

So since it is a very old word, it is probably a strong verb too, like “stick”. I was wondering if anyone here could point me in the right direction for what the preterite and past participle of “stecan”/“stekan” might have been.


  • Ealdormann
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Re: Doing the steeking in the past tense
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 08:42:15 AM »

The old English verb you want is stacan, alternatively possibly stǣcan or stagan.
I believe it is weak class I so the past should be stacede etc.

Michael Æðeling

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Re: Doing the steeking in the past tense
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 07:04:43 AM »
Thanks David.