One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Be the first person to cross the threshold of the house of (someone) in the New Year, in accordance with a Scottish custom.
- ‘Because the parents are involved, you feel you should offer out nips along with the sweeties… it's like being first-footed by the Addams Family.’
- ‘I come from Scotland, a place that starts each year with a lump of coal and a slice of Dundee cake, so I rather love the idea of first-footing with a fish.’
- ‘Not sure quite how much first-footing will occur tonight, but if it ends up quiet, that's no bad thing.’
- ‘Another says he went blindly first-footing, knocking on doors at random.’
- ‘It's February, and I've still not been first-footed from New Year yet.’
- ‘But while these special editions are enjoyable in their own right, if you're expecting to be first-footed by a whisky connoisseur, it might be good idea to have a decent bottle of the straightforward stuff to hand.’
The first person to cross a threshold in the New Year.
- ‘At every door in the street there is a shivering first-foot whose task, once the bells have chimed, is to enter and prevent the family from being prisoners in their own home.’
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