Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The first person one encounters, either after leaving one's home or (sometimes) outside one's home, especially on New Year's Day.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Christmas or New Year's ceremony, in the Isle of Man; one who takes part in the ceremony. See the first extract.

Etymologies

From Manx qualtagh. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • JM wonders what would happen if your qualtagh is also their qualtagh – would you both be forced to retreat indoors again?

    September 5, 2009

  • Interesting etymology for this word (according to OED): It once referred to the custom of going in a group from door to door at Christmas or New Year, making a request for food or other gifts in the form of a song. It also referred to the first person to enter one's house on New Year's Day or the first person one meets after leaving home, especially on a special occasion (it derives from the Manx English for "someone who meets or is met," literally, "first-foot").

    February 15, 2008

  • I just stepped outside (tho I'm not leaving) and spotted you: Howdy qualtagh!

    July 8, 2007

  • Leaving now - wonder who my qualtagh will be? Hellooo - anybody out there?

    July 8, 2007

  • it sounds like someone trying to say "quality" with their teeth out...

    July 8, 2007

  • Apparently, this is the first person you see after leaving your house. Evidently pronounced "KWOL-tok".

    July 8, 2007