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An Abbey Laird

An insolvent debtor sheltered by the precincts of Holyrood Abbey.

“As diligence cannot be proceeded with on Sunday, the Abbey Lairds (as they were jocularly called) were enabled to come forth on that day to mingle in our society.” —R. Chambers.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Abbey Laird from Infoplease:

  • Abbey Laird - An Abbey Laird An insolvent debtor sheltered by the precincts of Holyrood Abbey. “As ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: A - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "A"

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