Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CURCUDDIE, CUR(R)CUDDY, n. Also carcuddy, kirrcuddy, curcuddoch. “A singular, rustic dance, now common to be seen danced on the stages of theatres by buffoons. The dancers curr or sit down on their hams, with their hands joined beneath their thighs, and so they hop about, and go through various evolutions” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 155, currcuddy, kirrcuddy). Also used attrib. and as a proper name in the rhyme sung to the dance. [kʌr′kʌd, kər-, -′kʌdəx] Sc. 1824  Blackwood's Mag. (July) 87:
You might squat yourself on your hunkers, curcuddy fashion, like the statue of Venus coming out of her shell.
Sc. 1826  R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 139:
Will ye gang to the lea, Curcuddie, And join your plack wi' me, Curcuddie? I lookit about, and I saw naebody And linkit awa' my lane, Curcuddie. Usu. in phr. to dance curcuddie, etc., “a phrase used to denote a play among children, in which they sit on their houghs, and hop round in a circular form” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). The children often sing the rhyme given by Chambers above. Also fig. Also reduced form to dance cuddie, id. (Cai. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.).
Sc. 1832–46  W. Finlay in Whistle-Binkie (1853) 2nd Series 80:
What wi' gauze parritch, and muslin kail — ae barley-pile a hale dressing frae the ither, and dancing curcuddie in the pot a-boil — I thocht mony a time my heart wad ne'er been able to send a shot mair through the shed.
Ags. 1927  V. Jacob Northern Lights 27:
But there was nane forbye yersel' Could dance curcuddoch tae the pipes.
Lnk. a.1832  W. Watt Poems (1860) 93:
She gied the bailie a curtchie, as laigh as she had been gaun to dance carcuddy.

[Cf. Coukuddy. The first element may be the intensive pref. Cur-, the second from Cuddy, n.1 (cf. mump-the-cuddie s.v. Mump, the dance being imit. of riding an animal). There has been some interchange in form and meaning with the next word.]

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"Curcuddie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Feb 2019 <>



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