Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLANK, Klank, n. and v. Sc. meanings of St.Eng. clank. Cf. Clink, n.1 and v.1 [klɑŋk]

1. n. Dim. clankie.

(1) A resounding blow, a knock. Given for Sh. in E.D.D. in form klank. Sc. 1718  Ramsay Chr. Kirk III. xxiii. in Poems (1721):
Some ram'd their Noddles wi' a Clank, E'en like a thick scull'd Lord, On Posts that Day.
Ayr. 1790  Burns Killiecrankie (Cent. ed.) iii.:
An' Clavers gat a clankie, O.
Rxb. 1806  J. Hogg Poems 50:
He wan 'im sic a clank.

†(2) A loud noise. Abd.(D) 1788  J. Skinner Christmass Bawing xiii. in Caled. Mag. 501:
The Cousins bicker'd wi' a clank, Gart ane anither sob And gasp that day.
Edb. 1801  J. Thomson Poems 98–99:
The silliest brat about their town, Will curse an' swear like a dragoon, An' rin alangst me [a bridge] wi' a clankie, An' ne'er so much as say, “I thank ye.” Some, I must own, are mair discreet, An' tentily set down their feet.) †(3) A large quantity, a “dollop.”
Rxb. 1821  A. Scott Poems 96:
For clanks o' 'tatoes hail'd ilk wame, A' pipin het, weel butter'd.

†(4) A rough hold, a violent clutch. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 42:
Three lusty fellows gat o' him a clank.

†(5) In phr. in a clank, in a moment, in a trice. Cf. in a clap s.v. Clap, n.1 Sc. 1872  J. Smail in Scotsman (25 April):
Alang by the Dead-Water Stank, Jock Fenwick I met on the lea; But his saddle was toom in a clank — An' wha daur meddle wi' me?

2. v. †(1) To strike, beat. Sc. 1806  A. Brown in Caled. Musical Repository (ed. Crosby) 75:
May I get my shouthers weel clankit, Gif e'er I tell ought but the truth.
Edb. 1791  J. Learmont Poems 58:
Our dams wad clank us wi' the kail-stick.

†(2) To snatch, clutch; to seize noisily and violently. Ags. 1820  A. Balfour Contemplation, etc. 277:
[She] spread down the blanket, An' him into her oxter clankit.
Edb. 1812  P. Forbes Poems 37:
Syne clankit up his ram-horn spoon, An' stecht his muckle wame, Right fu' yon night.
Dmf. 1823  J. Kennedy Poems and Songs 70:
This done, a sage the bonnet clankit Frae's pow, and said a lang bethankit.

(3) Gen. with doun (doon, down). Cf. Clink, v.1 (2) (a).

†(a) To write down hurriedly. Hdg. 1885  “S. Mucklebackit” Rural Rhymes and Sketches 19:
Clank doun, an' point wi' ready pen The shortest cut to riches.

(b) To sit or flop down suddenly and noisily (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Slg.3 1937). Sc. 1929  E. Turner in Sc. Readings, etc. (ed. T. W. Paterson) 68:
I aye keep them on top o' the garret bed . . . an' it wasna' ma blame he clankit doon on them.
Bch. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 130:
Lat's clank oursel' ayont the fire.
Ags. 1786  ? C. Keith Har'st Rig (1794) xv.:
And forthwith then they a' down clank Upon the green.

(4) “To eat noisily” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., rare). Cf. Clunk, v.1 Rxb. 1868  W. Kennedy in Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 27–28:
He's taen eleven cups o' tea and eight shives o' bread, an' he's clanking away as if he hadna seen meat for a fortnight.

[O.Sc. has clank, v., followed by down = to throw down with a bang, 1600–1610, but the noun is not recorded in D.O.S.T.]

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"Clank n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Oct 2018 <>



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