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Curse of Scotland a name given to the nine of diamonds in a pack of cards, perhaps because it resembled the armorial bearings of Lord Stair, nine lozenges on a saltire, the number and shape of the spots being identical, and their arrangement similar. The first Earl of Stair was the object of much execration for his share in sanctioning the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692, and subsequently for the influential part played by him in bringing about the Union with England in 1707.

curses, like chickens, come home to roost ill will directed at another is likely to rebound on the originator. The saying, which is recorded from the late 14th century, is also found elliptically, without specific mention of curses.

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