(The). In Scotland means lifting the coffin on the shoulders of
the bearers. Certain ceremonies preceded the funeral.
“When at the funeral of an ordinary husband-man, one o'clock was
named as the hour for `lifting,' the party began to assemble two hours
previously.” —Saladin: Agnostic Journal, Jan. 14,1893, p. 27.
At the first service were offered meat and ale; at the second,
shortbread and whisky; at the third, seed-cake and wine; at the
fourth, currant-bun and rum: at the last, sugar-biscuits and brandy.
or Lifting the Little Finger. Tippling. In holding a
beaker or glass, most persons stick out or lift up the little finger.
“Lifting” is a contracted form of the full phrase.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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