Monday, 8 August 2011


This is yin o mae favorites an an oul yin ferbye. It first appears in Allan Ramsay's book o scottish proverbs in 1737. Howaniver tha wurd cadger (or variants thereof) are recorded (in Scotland) as early as 1491.

Tha king aa cums tha cadgers road.

The word Cadger is used in Scottish as in standard English to mean a travelling hawker (chiefly of fish), or beggar. However in Scots / Ulster-Scots it can also be used to denote "A person of a disagreeable" temper” (J. Sellar Poems (1844)
The Proverb also appears as: The King’s Errand may come in the Cadger’s Gate (Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs 62). The king will come in the cadger’s road. Followed by the explanation: a great man may need the services of a humble one.
This proverb is also referred to in 1894 by D. MacLeod - Past Worthies of Lennox 175: "I telt ye then that the day micht come when the king would come in the cadger’s road, an’ ye micht be gled o’ a nicht’s lodgin’s frae me."
Update: Phililp has kindly reminded me that from cadger we also get the Ulster-Scots word Cadge. "Tae Cadge" is to beg, borrow or peddle.

A similar proverb we used at hame

Lang runs tha Hare

1 comment:

  1. "Lang runs tha hare" A mine it weel, an "It's a lang road haes nae turnin" wud be anither sayin we haed.
    "Cadger" aye, an "tae cadge" meanin tae beg/borrow forby tae peddle.
    A thocht ye micht be interestit that the Bard o Ballycarry, James O.rr used "badger" wi tha same meanin as "cadger", especially whaniver he wus a botheration. In "To the Potatoe" he says - "IN COMES THE BADGER, AFT A LANDER (a "lander" is an unexpected visitor that just 'lands in' on ye)