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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).

DUDSDAY, n. Also Dud(d)s' day, Dud(d)'s day. Originally the Martinmas hiring fair at Kilmarnock, later denominating the spring hiring fair also and held in other parts of Ayrshire as well; finally, after the change of date of these fairs, applied to the subsequent hiring market at which engagements not made at the fair could be entered into. Discontinued since 1939.Ayr. 1820 Air Advertiser (30 Nov.) 4/2:
Friday was the “Dudsday”, (or Martinmas) fair in Kilmarnock, that is, the fair at which the country servants spend their former half year's wages in new clothes.
Ayr. 1830 C. Lockhart Poems 14:
On Dudsday, ere I cam awa frae Killie.
Ayr. 1920 Ayr Advertiser (21 Oct.) 4/2:
There were not a great many single men engaged, a large proportion of them preferring to wait till Dudd's Day.

[From Duds, clothes, as explained in 1820 quot.]

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"Dudsday n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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