Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLASH, Klasn, n.1 Used as in St.Eng., but note the following extensions peculiar to Sc.

1. A blow, “a slap, or a collision of soft bodies” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., klash). Gen.Sc. Sc. 1808  Jam.:
“A clash on the side of the head”; a box on the ear.
Gsw. 1884  H. Johnston Martha Spreull (1930) xiii.:
The next instant the heavy-fingert tawse labbit wi' a stingin' clash on Tammas' jawblade.
Ayr. 1822  Galt The Provost x.:
A dead cat came whizzing through the air . . . and gave me such a clash in the face.

2. A mass of any soft or moist substance; anything very wet (Bnff.2, Fif.10 1937); a downpour (of rain) (Fif.10, Kcb.9 1937). Also used fig. Ags. 1889  Brechin Advertiser (23 April) 3/4:
Mind weel yon plash, gae thro' the clash, An' be carefu' o' your claes.
m.Sc. 1927  J. Buchan Witch Wood i.:
There was no clash of cauld morality in worthy Mr Macmichael.
Ayr. 1830  Galt Southennan I. xxxv.:
A huge clash of mire was thrown.
s.Sc. 1835–1840  J. M. Wilson Tales of the Borders (1857) IX. 56:
“What's brocht ye oot, woman,” said Willie, “in sic a clash o' rain as this?”

Phr.: as wat as a clash, sopping wet. Ayr. 1903  G. Cunningham Verse and Prose 58:
Claes, a' as wat as a clash.

3. (1) A large quantity, amount (Ags.1, Kcb.9 1937); ‡(2) a large number. (1) Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin vii.:
Wha kens if there will be ony speakin' t' ye, ance ye get sic a clash o' siller in yer loof.
Rnf. 1878  C. Fleming Poems, etc. 256:
He's a' a clash o' debt.
Dmf. 1925  W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 21:
There was a clash o' hey got up yesterday.
(2) Dmf. 1790  J. Fisher Poems 82:
I heard o' ane, wha had a clash O' laddies wooing at her.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
A clash o' sheep.

4. (1) Talk, gossip, tittle-tattle, scandal. Sometimes used in pl. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1718  Ramsay Chr. Kirk iii. x. in Poems (1721):
Wi' Clashes mingled aft wi' Lies.
Sh.(D) 1877  G. Stewart Sh. Fireside Tales 5:
Dats ta say if da clash da folk has aboot you is no true.
m.Sc. 1919  J. Buchan Mr Standfast iv.:
Tam will tell ye the whole clash o' the West Country.
Uls. 1898  A. McIlroy Auld Meetin'-Hoose Green x.:
A' hae bin hearin' a guid dale o' clash an' nonsense, Mrs Sherpe, concernin' the quaestion o' a second merrige.

Hence clashy, given to gossip (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Fif.10 1937). s.Sc. 1933  J. Gillespie in Border Mag. (Dec.) 180:
They're clashy folk at the Plophills onywey.

(2) A tale, story (Abd.2, Ags.1, Fif.10 1937). Sc. [1826]  R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes (1870) 72:
I ken ye're fond o' clashes aboot fairies, bairns; and a story anent a fairy and the guidwife o' Kittlerumpit has joost come into my mind.

(3) “A voluble speaker; a female tattler” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Known to Fif.1, Lnl.1 (1937). w.Dmf. 1908  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1912) vi.:
She gethered roon oor fireside o' a nicht . . . a' the clypes and clashes o' the toon — auld wives and young yins.

5. Used adverbially = with a “clash” or crash (used of soft or harsh sounds). Gen.Sc. Ags.(D) 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xi.:
I was sittin' on Friday nicht, readin' awa' at some bits o' the Herald . . . when the shop door gaed clash back to the wa'.
Ayr. 1928 4 :
Doon a' fell clash in the glaur.

[O.Sc. has clasche, a resounding impact or fall, 1513, and clash, chatter, gossip, 1661 (D.O.S.T.). For section 4 cf. Clatter, n. Cf. similar semantic developments of Ger. klatsch.]

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"Clash n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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