Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CURDIE, Curdee, Curdy, n. A very small coin; a farthing (Abd.4 1929; Frf., Edb. 1916, curdie; Slg.3 1941; Rnf. 1947 (per Abd.27); Lnk. 1928 (per Ayr.4), curdy, Kcb.1 1941, curdee). Also used attrib. and as a nickname for a boy very small for his age (Lnk.11 1941). [′kʌrdi] Sc. 1923 Sc. Univ. Verses 1918–23 66:
An' leave ye fient a curdie bit.
Edb. 1881 J. W. M'Laren Rhymes 27:
They're just as good as pills, and dinna cost a curdie.
Edb. 1898 J. Baillie Walter Crighton 257:
He was presented with a suit of handsome regimentals, the empty sword belt of which the knaps promised to fill with a “curdie” subscription when they were auld callants.

[Etym. doubtful. The word is used by Sc. gipsies to mean a halfpenny (McCormick Tinkler-Gypsies (1907) App. xv.) and may be from Sp. cuarto, a small coin worth about a farthing, or from Romani χurdo, little.]

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"Curdie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Jul 2021 <>



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