Middle English Dictionary Entry

stagge n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) An adult male deer, esp. a four- or five-year-old stag; ~ of an hert; (b) a young male horse, colt [chiefly N]; (c) a swan [cp. steg(ge n.]; (d) in surnames and place names [see Smith PNElem.2.142].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (1351) Acc.Chester in LCRS 59190 : [For 2 parts of one] stag waif .
  • Note: But how can there be "2 parts of one" animal?--per MJW
    Note: MED stagge n.: "(b) a young male horse, colt [chiefly N]" or "(c) a swan" more likely than "(a) an adult male deer."--per MJW
    Note: Context of quot. involves the sale of cows and horses. Preceding information: "2 horses arising from waifs, sold."--per REL
    Note: Second element of "stag waif" no doubt weif n., but it is unclear how first element goes with it.--per REL
    Note: Could "stag" = stage n. or stage adj.?--per REL
    Note: Based on the foregoing observations, here are two possibilities: If the word is stagge n.: 1. The second element may be weif adj., and not the noun. Note under the adj. the following quots: "(1371)..stota wayf.."; "(1405)..animal Weyf.."; "(1447-8)..cattall wayff..." Given the meanings of stagge n., "stag waif" could be an abandoned or stray horse. See weif adj., quot. (1397) which refers to a "wayf" horse. 2. 'Stag' may belong to stage adj., "Of animal skins: dried by stretching..also, as noun: dried, unseasoned skins." The "stag waif" would be the dried skin of some stray animal. That might explain the "2 parts of one stag waif". If this is the case, this quot. belongs under stage adj.--per MLL