Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

CLUIF, CLIV, Cloof, Cluf, Kliv, Klov, Clive, n. [kluf Sc.; klɪv I.Sc. + klɔv, klʌv, Cai. + klaɪv; klyf em.Sc.]

1. A hoof (orig. the hoof of a cloven-footed animal). Jam. (1808) s.v. cluf says: “now pronounced clu, n.Sc.” The most common form in I.Sc. and Cai. is cliv, and dim. clivvik. Jak. gives kliv and klivek, as well as klov and (rarer) kløv. Clive is heard in the Canisbay distriet of Cai. (Cai.7 1936). Sh.(D) 1891  J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 10:
For a wharter-a-oor ye'd a no heard a soond Bit da crackin o' shairs, and da clump o a clug, Da scrit o a cliv, and da yalp o da dug.
Cai. 1929  “Caithness Forum” in John o' Groat Jnl. (1 Nov.):
He'll just gie her cliv twa-three strakes on'e corner o' 'e gless hoose.
Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 61:
The stour That his ain horse-cluifs . . . Up in his face hae dash'd.

2. “A claw” (Sc. 1808 Jam., cloof, cluf).

3. “Jocularly or esp. mockingly . . . applied to the foot of a human being” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), klov), or the hand (Cai.9 1938). Sh.(D) 1891  J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 2:
Bit güd feth! da but-end wisna ill ta be seen, So I sings oot, “Come in, an your clivviks be clean!”
Ork. 1929  Marw.:
“Fae the klov an' up,” = from top to toe.

[O.Sc. clufe, cluif (for earlier clōf), from c.1500–c.1512, a cloven hoof, a paw; also pl. clovis, cluis (D.O.S.T.). O.N. klauf, cloven foot; cogn. Dan. klov, older kløv, Sw. klöf, Mod.Norw. klauv, id. (Falk and Torp). The I.Sc. and Cai. form [klɪv] shows unrounding of the mutated vowel. See also Clow, n.2]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Cluif n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down