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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).

CANTRAG, n. “A festivity held to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of a couple” (Cai.4 c.1920; Cai.7 1938). Also attrib. [′kɑntrɑg]Cai. 1921 J. Mowat in Old-Lore Misc., Ork., Sh., etc. (1933) IX. i. 22:
The old wedding ceremony was the period for feasting and display. . . . To begin with, there was the “cantrag” or contract night, then the house-to-house visitation by the bride and bridegroom giving “the bids.”

[Corruption of Eng. contract, which is reg. pronounced contrack in Sc. The termination -ack has been wrongly identified with the Cai. suff. -ag.]

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"Cantrag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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