Word of The Day for Saturday, May 7, 2011


qual•tagh (KWAL-tawk)  n

1. the first individual a person meets after exiting his or her house
2. the first person to enter one's house after the new year
from Manx qualtagh "first-foot"

Sentence Examples:
• "Who will be your 'first foot' this year, I wonder? It was John Storm last year, you remember, and being as dark as a gipsy, he made a perfect qualtagh. - The Christian, Hall Caine

• "Are you going to put the new year in anywhere, Philip?" said Kate, from the door of the porch.
"I should be the first-foot here, only I'm no use as a qualtagh," said Philip.
"Why not?"
"I'm a fair man, and would bring you no luck, you know."
- The Manxman, Hall Caine

• At present New Year's Day is the time when the qualtagh is of general interest, and in this case he is practically the first person one sees (besides the members of one's own household) on the morning of that day, whether that person meets one out of doors or comes to one's house.  - Folklore, Joseph Jacobs, Alfred Trübner Nutt, Arthur Robinson Wright

World Wide Words:

 The new year’s qualtagh, for luck, is supposed to be a dark-haired man. A red-headed or female qualtagh is unlucky.

Sources: Quotidian Word

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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