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Word of the Day
Friday, January 01, 2016

Definitions for first-foot

  1. Scot. the first person to cross the threshold of a house on New Year's Day.
  2. Scot. the first person met after starting out on the day of an important occasion.
  3. Scot. to enter (a house) first on New Year's Day.

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Citations for first-foot
Custom held that the most fortunate “firstfoot” on a Hogmanay was a tall and handsome dark-haired man; to welcome one as the first visitor across the threshold after midnight brought good fortune to the house for the coming year. Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross, 2001
This was the ritual of visiting friends, neighbours (and strangers) in the early hours of New Year's Morning, the first-foot strictly meaning the first person--other than a member of the household--to cross the threshold after midnight. Raymond Lamont-Brown, Alice Keppel & Agnes Keyser: Edward VII's Last Loves, 2005
Origin of first-foot
First-foot is a compound of the adjective first and the noun foot. It entered English in the late 1700s.
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