Last modified on 20 December 2014, at 15:36



TK archive icon.svg

The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.

Rfv-sense: The first individual a person meets after exiting his or her house.

Some connection to a celebration on the Isle of Man, but not supported except in other, new sense by any real dictionary at OneLook. See qualtagh at OneLook Dictionary Search. OED? DCDuring TALK 08:01, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

  • OED has :- Manx English. 1. The practice or custom of going in a group from door to door at Christmas or New Year, typically making a request for food or other gifts in the form of a song. Now hist. 2. The first person to enter a house on New Year's Day; = first-foot n. at first adj. and adv. Special uses 2a. Also: the first person one meets after leaving home, esp. on a special occasion. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:15, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
    So this is only on New Years on the Isle of Man? I will add that sense. I would like to know if this is attestable in the unqualified sense given, which it might. DCDuring TALK 08:36, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
    On second thought, I will leave this to someone with some experience of the usage. And the same for first-foot. DCDuring TALK 08:43, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
    The word qualtagh, or more appropriately, quaaltagh [ˈkʷɛːl̪t̪ax], is indeed the first individual (person or creature) a person meets after exiting his or her house. A.W. Moore, prominent archivist, folklorist and Manx language expert in the late 19th century attests to this in his Folklore of the Isle of Man (1891). As a speaker of Manx I can also confirm this meaning. The word is an adjectival noun and an adjective in its own right and stems from the Manx quaiyl ("assembly", "gathering", "convention", "meeting", "session"). The word quaiyl is also used when speaking about meeting someone, e.g. haink eh ny quaiyl, "he met her", lit. "he came into her meeting". In this instance the girl may be described as a quaaltagh. The word quaiyl is etymologically related to the Irish comhdháil where the intervocalic /-ɣ-/ has been lenited - a process typical in the Manx language (e.g. compare Manx braar with Irish bráthair, Mx. ayr with Ir. athair, Mx. moir with Ir. máthair, Mx. breear with Ir. briathar, Mx. magher [mɑːɾ] with Ir. machaire). The Irish word comhdháil is itself a compound word comprising the words comh- "co-" and dáil "assembly" (c.f. the name of the Irish Lower Legislative House, Dáil Éireann). MacTire02 (talk) 18:48, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
    Does it exist in written English, such that we could cite it as an English word according to requirements of WT:CFI? Equinox 18:51, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
RFV-failed for now. - -sche (discuss) 00:29, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not convinced the other sense is attested. This string of letters is attested, but I can't work out the meaning in the citations I can see. - -sche (discuss) 05:51, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I've temporarily restored all of the definitions and started trying to cite them. The "first-foot" one actually might meet CFI; it's the "Christmas" one that seems not to! - -sche (discuss) 17:30, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
I think the "ceremony" sense is a reference to the "ceremony" of seeing a first-foot, and the "participant" sense is just a bad attempt at covering what the first sense, "first-foot", already covers. I've kept the first sense as cited and removed the others as uncited. - -sche (discuss) 02:42, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Return to "qualtagh" page.