Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLISHMACLAVER, -CLAIVER, -CLATTER, Cleishmaclaver, n. and v. [′klɪʃmə′kle:vər Sc., m.Sc. + ′kliʃ-]

1. n. Cf. Clash-ma-claver.

(1) Idle talk, gossip; wordy discourse. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems II. 236:
This Method's ever thought the braver, Than either Cuffs, or Clish-ma-claver.
Ags. 1924  J. B. Caithness Pastime Poems 82:
I'm thinkin', Will, ye've had yer fill o' My clishmaclatter.
Ayr. 1900  “G. Douglas” House with Green Shutters (1901) xxi.:
George the Fort' didna fill the throne verra doucely for a' their cleishmaclaver.
Rxb. 1821  A. Scott Poems 44:
Kisses stown o' sweetest flavour, Mix'd wi' am'rous clishmaclaver.

(2) “A talkative busybody” (Uls.2 1929). Known to Bnff.2, Abd.19 1937. Sc. 1819  When the King comes o'er the Water in Hogg (ed.) Jacobite Relics I. 46–47:
A curse on dull and drawling Whig, . . . Wi' heart sae black, and look sae big, And canting tongue o' clishmaclaver!
Edb. 1917  T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's o' Solomon xviii. 8:
The clitter-clatters o' a clishmaclaiver are unco gustie till him.

2. v. To gossip, chatter (Bnff.2, Abd.22 1937). Vbl.n. clishmaclavering. Sc. 1823  J. G. Lockhart Reg. Dalton I. 204–205:
Do you no see that I might be your father, man? What signifies sic clishmaclavering?
Ayr. 1822  Galt Sir A. Wylie I. xii.:
It's no right o' you, sir, to keep me clishmaelavering when I should be taking my pick, that the master's wark mayna gae by.

[From Clish, q.v., + Claver, n.1, gossip. For the intermediate syllable, cf. Whigmaleerie.]

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"Clishmaclaver n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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