1. to gossip maliciously, to cause trouble deliberately by so doing; thus stirring n. and adj., troublemaking.
|Nil Carborundum (1963) Act I: What was he on about? Stirring, I’ll bet. You want to watch him.|
|Trainspotting 97: Shut yir fuckin mooth ya stirrin cunt.|
2. (orig. Aus.) to tease, to provoke.
|Time of Dolphins 33: She’s damned well stirring you [OED].|
3. (Aus., also stir it) to cause trouble (other than through gossip etc); thus stirring n., troublemaking.
|Living Black 202: She’ll only get him full that night and do some stirring!|
|Patriot Game (1985) 24: It’s a little under fifteen years, if you make nice and don’t stir up any ruckus.|
|Curvy Lovebox 162: If all you’re gonna do is stir it.|
SE in slang uses
1. porridge; also attrib.
|Letters from Scotland I 209: Your ordinary Fare has been little else beside Brochan, Cale, Stirabout, Sowings, etc.|
|Newcastle Courant 12 July 1/2: One Pound of Rice, and two Quarts of Milk, boiled thick as Stirabout [...] will make two pounds of good wholesome Food.|
|Derby Mercury 16 Jan. 1/2: A worthy [...] Gentleman [...] has warmly recommended the Rearing of Calves with Bean-Meal: This made into Stir-about [...] affords the young Animals wholesome and effectual Nourishment.|
|Works (1794) I 301: Leek porridge, stirabout, we’ll sooner want.‘The Lousiad’|
|Legends and Stories 158: Oh, by gor, the butther’s comin’ out o’ the stirabout.|
|London Standard 9 June 3/1: The prisonrs in Limerick county gaol have mutinied about indian meal stirabout.|
|Hereford Times 26 Jan. 7/5: The insurgents successfully assailed them for some time with the hot ‘stirabout’ with which they had been provided for supper.|
|‘Rafferty’s Party’ Donnybrook-Fair Comic Songster 51: Stirabout with new milk and whey.|
|Orig. Pontoon Songster 65: Och, I weep for the day I was freed from my cot, / My praties and milk, and my stirabout pot.‘The Cat In The Corner’|
|Knocknagow 62: She followed Honor outside the door, with the stirabout stick smoking in her hand.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Feb. 6/4: ‘Now the butter is comin’ out ov the stirabout,’ as they say in the sunny South of France. [Ibid.] 9 May 9/1: We say this diffidently, but we’ve known a course of water-cress and ‘stirabout’ to temper the tendency to undue protuberance and restore the original lines of beauty.|
|Mr Dooley’s Chicago (1977) 190: They had [...] oatmale stirabout.in Schaaf|
|People of the Abyss 255: At twelve o’clock it gets dinner, composed of a tin of coarse Indian meal stirabout (skilly).|
|Dubliners (1956) 178: He’s really an awful bother [...] forcing Eva to eat the stirabout. The poor child!‘The Dead’|
|Eve. Teleg. 5 Dec. 3/4: A man backed out of marriage simply because he disliked the way his ladylove stirred the stirabout.|
|Third Policeman (1974) 105: ‘I have put the stirabout on the table,’ he said, ‘and the milk is still hot from being inside the cow’s milk-bag.’.|
|At Night All Cats Are Grey 60: I think another basin of stirabout would be in order.|
|Down All the Days (1990) 73: Ma – the stirabout they give us in the mornings does be freezing cold!|
|Tell me, Sean O’Farrell 90: Eating only a plate of stirabout a day – oh and the odd raw turnip!|
|(con. 1930s) Shawlies, Echo Boys, the Marsh and the Lanes 88: Some weeks we’d have stirabout for days. That’d be oatmeal. Some of the neighbours wouldn’t touch it, called it famine food.|
|(con. 1919) A Star Called Henry (2000) 217: Stirabout and slidderjacks and cakes of rough bread.|
2. any pudding that requires stirring.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
|Sporting Times 28 May 1/2: I’d no news in the ‘stirabout’ yonder.‘A Derby Bet’|
a sodomite, a male homosexual.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
of a woman, to masturbate.
|Spankmag.com 22 Oct. [Internet] Stirring it up.‘Male & Female Masturbation Terms’ at|
to get a move on; to dance; to do one’s duty keenly.
|School of Abuse (1868) 51: If it be the dutie of euery man in a common wealth, one way or other to bestirre his stumpes, I cannot but blame those lither contemplators very much, which sit concluding of Sillogisumes in a corner.|
|Cobbler of Canterbury (1976) 23: A Cobbler [...] who was woont [...] on holy daies to bestirre his stumps in the Church-yard so merrily.|
|Wily Beguiled 72: Come Pegge, bestirre your stumps: make thyself smuggo, wench.|
|O per se O L4: It is for seauen causes that they bestirre their stumps.|
|Life of Guzman Pt II Bk II 107: I was forced to buckle up my selfe, and bestirre my stumps.(trans.)|
|Covent-Garden Weeded II i: Thou must bestir thy stumps a little further.|
|Lady Mother II i: Come, stir your shanks nimbly.|
|Appius and Virginia III i: I warrant you I can bestir my stumps as soon as another.|
|Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk I 28: Haste to Carthage, stir your Stumps.|
|Hudibras Redivivus I:2 17: I had not long, on City Stones, / Bestirr’d my Stumps and Marrow-bones.|
|Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 62: My Arse, answered the Footman; if you don’t stir your Stumps, I’ll rouze you away presently, you canting Son of a Bitch.|
|Midas II i: I’ll lead her such a dance Shall make her stir her stumps.|
|Songs and Ballads of the Amer. Revolution (1855) 234: Clinton’s name alarmed his mind, / And made him stir his stumps.|
|Works (1794) I 194: The dread of gasping on the fatal fork [...] Was full enough to make him stir his stumps.‘The Lousiad’|
|Burlesque Homer (4th edn) II 89: I shall stir my stumps.|
|Works (1801) V 448: A knife and fork, a dish, spoon, and platter, Should stir their stumps.‘Epistle to Count Rumford’|
|Sporting Mag. Sept. XX 316/1: Teddy grew sulky [...] and neither intreaties nor blows could persuade him (to use his rider’s phrase) ‘to stir a peg’.|
|Yankey in England 32: Come along: stir your stumps!|
|Eng. Spy I 382: So stir your stumps, my tight one, or I shall drive over you.|
|‘Gallery of 140 Comicalities’ Bell’s Life in London 24 June 4/1: The Devil has been stirring his shanks.|
|‘The Spring Leg’ Comic Songster and Gentleman’s Private Cabinet 35: He could hardly stir a peg.|
|Land Sharks and Sea Gulls II 125: What I wants, I wants now [...] so stir yer stumps.|
|Letter-bag of the Great Western (1873) 63: It was ‘cutting his stick’ with a vengeance; it was not marching, but ‘stirring his stumps’.|
|Widow Bedott Papers (1883) 113: Now start yer stumps, and fetch them things quick meeter.|
|letter in Yankee Correspondence (1996) 67: If I was out of the army, I wouldn’t stir a peg to enlist.|
|Handy Andy in Darkey Drama 5 61: Stir your stumps! go down into the kitching, and get my toast an’ tea.|
|Kentish Chron. 19 Aug. 4/4: You’ll be bowled out, my jockey! You’d better stir your stumps.|
|Wanderings of a Vagabond 147: Here, Justice, stir your stumps and let the Major and myself have a drink.|
|Wind in the Willows (1995) 258: Stir your stumps, Toad, and look lively!|
|Merton of the Movies 8: Now, for gosh’s sake, stir your stumps!|
|Travels of Tramp-Royal 153: I saw that if I would sleep under shelter that night I had better stir my pins.|
|Billy Bunter at Butlins 174: Next time you feel too lazy to stir a stump, you’ve only got to ask us to chuck you over a deck-chair.|
|(con. 1916) Tin Lizzie Troop (1978) 111: It’s not too late to stir my stumps.|
(N.Z.) to criticize harshly, to reprimand severely.
|DSUE (8th edn) 1157/2: since ca. 1940.|
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 108/1: stir shit out of to scold comprehensively.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|
(US) of a white man, to have sex with a black woman.
|The Force [ebook] Russo and Big Monty, they know you’re stirring tar?|
see under porridge n.
see under possum n.
(N.Z.) to deliberately cause trouble.
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
to masturbate, usu. of a woman.
|‘U4ME’ (poem) on Originality [Internet] (Not to be sexist) Stirring the sauce, thickening the gravy / Polishing your fingertips, tickling the baby.|
to go out of one’s way to make trouble, esp. by gossiping or telling tales.
|Queens’ Vernacular 190: stir some shit (kwn San Diego, late ’60s) to gossip.|
|You Flash Bastard 160: Once you broke into that higher strata and began to stir that shit, there was too much and too many involved.|
|Dread Culture 160: Word is somebody high up [...] wants to put it to the new superintendent and stir up some shit while he’s at it.|
|PS, I Scored the Bridesmaids 220: Stop listening to Erika [...] She’s just trying to stir shit.|
|Wire ser. 3 ep. 3 [TV script] ‘You stirring up some shit?’ [...] ‘For the good of our fair city’.‘Dead Soldiers’|
|Cherry Pie [ebook] ‘No. I was lobbying for minimum wages [...] women having control over their own bodies—’ ‘You were stirring up shit’.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 244: Sometimes the shit these guys stir takes time to brew.|
to visit without any previous announcement.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
the Sunday before Advent.
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 228: Stir-up Sunday the Sunday next before Advent, the collect for that day commencing with the words, ‘Stir up.’ Schoolboys, growing excited at the prospect of the vacation, irreverently commemorate it by stirring up ― pushing and poking each other. CRIB CRUST MONDAY and TUG BUTTON TUESDAY are distinguished by similar tricks; while on PAY OFF WEDNESDAY they retaliate small grudges in a playful facetious way.|