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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).

Cat, n.2 [Of obscure origin; perhaps a fanciful use of Cat,n.1] A wisp of straw combined with soft clay used in building or repairing walls. Usu. in phr. cat and clay. 1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 153.
For cat and clay to mend and fill certane hoillis
1615–6 M. Works Acc. XI. 16.
For mending the tua chimnayis in the smedy with cat and cley.
1663 Stirling Comm. Good 16 b.
5 thrave straw to be ropis & to make cattis of clay
1685 Decis. Lords (1769) I. 379.
They … had only built the lowest story of it of mud, or cat and clay

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"Cat n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <>



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