Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
NEW-YEAR, n.comb. Also Noo'eer (Ags.) and reduced forms, esp. in combs., n'yer, new(e)r-, neuer-, ne'(e)r-, ne'ar, nair-, nu(i)r-, noor(s)-, neever-. Sc. forms and usages. See also Hogmanay. [nju′(j)ir, em.Sc. (a) nu′ir, Ayr. ′nju(ə)r-, wm. and sm.Sc. ′nir-, Lth., s.Sc. ′ner-, Cai. ′nivər-]
1. Combs.: (1) New Year bread, bread baked with special ingredients for New-year's day; (2) noor-cake, an oatmeal cake, gen. of special crispness and tastiness, given to children on their New-year rounds. See also (7); (3) New'r(s)day (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), Newer- (Sh. 1901 Shetland News (19 Jan.)), Ne'ar- (Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 59), Ne'(e)r-, Nair- (Gsw. 1868 J. Young Poems 86), Neever- (Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 80), Noors-, Nur(w.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie 171), Nower-, (i) New-year's day. Freq. attrib.; (ii) a New-year's day gift, New-year cheer. Gen.Sc. Cf. 2.; (4) Neever even, and tautological form Newrn(s) een, the day before New-year's day, New-year's eve (wm.Sc. 1887 Jam.; Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne), Neever-, 80; Ork. 1964); (5) Newrgift, = (3) (ii) (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Sh. 1964); (6) Newersmas, Neuers-, New-year-tide (Sh. 1964, Newrsmas). Also attrib.; (7) New Year's piece, a cake or piece of currant bread or the like given to children begging Hogmanay (Ags. 1964); see also (2); (8) N'yer time, New-year-tide; (9) Old New-year's day, New-year's day, Old Style, now 12th January (I.Sc. 1964, Ald Newrday).
(1) Sc. 1875 A. Hislop Anecdotes 141:
The Anker-stock was a round loaf made of rye-flour, and seasoned with spice and currants, and used as “New Year bread”. (2) Peb. 1800 Edb. Mag. (Dec.) 475:
The custom of giving noor-cakes to the children of those who are destined to travel in the lower walks of life. Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 27:
Cheese an' nappie noor-cakes. (3) (i) Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 14:
To glad their sauls wi' Nurday cheer. Abd. 1793 Trans. Bch. Field Club XIV. 73:
This being nower day the lads at ther Divershon. Ayr. 1819 Kilmarnock Mirror 318:
Neist time she cums athort me in a Nuirday morning, I'll nick her forehead wi' a jockteleg. m.Sc. 1842 A. Rodger Stray Leaves 51:
I hae gotten baith my cheese an' whisky laid in . . . you'll maybe come and get a preeing o't at New'r-day. wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 69:
A man may as weel try to haud a yoong naig without a tether, as haud new'rs-day without drink. Sc. 1893 Stevenson Letters (1899) II. 308:
I think it should reach you about Noor's Day. Sc. 1936 Scots Mag. (May) 139:
Kate likely would have given you the right-about, as she did the Minister himself seven years come Ne'erday. Sc. 1962 Scotsman (6 Oct.) 6:
By about Ne'erday, which is not fardistant, more than 100,000 jobless people will be signing on for the “dole” in Scotland. (ii) Sc. 1897 J. Wright Scenes 15:
Visiting my grannie to get my “ne'erday”, . . . a daud of shortbread and currant-bun and a bawbee. Gsw. 1902 J. J. Bell Wee Macgreegor i.:
Ye maun ha'e yer Ne'erday, wumman, like ither folk. (6) Fif. 1844 J. Jack St. Monance 19:
Keep yer snaw-baws to yer new'rsmas cronies. Sh. 1932 J. Saxby Trad. Lore 157:
One Neuersmas a large party had assembled at the Moolapund. (7) Sc. 1849 M. Oliphant M. Maitland xiii.:
If ane could but ken that there was some kindly body about her to gie her her New Year's piece! (8) Sc. 1923 R. Macrailt Hoolachan 32:
I ha'e my seeven and sax a week, and burial fees, and a shillin' or twa noo and than, and at N'yer time. (9) Sc. 1797 Edb. Mag. (May) 398:
In the course of the night of Old Newyear's Day last.
2. A gift or a drink of liquor given in hospitality at the New Year. Gen.Sc.
Abd. 1889 Bon-Accord (12 Jan.) 9:
I gae'm's New Year, an' haith his tongue begood tae wag.
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"New-year n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/newyear>
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