Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLACK, n.1 and v. Cf. Claik, n.1, v.1, and Cleck. [klɑk]

I. n.

1. “The clapper of a mill” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Known to Ags.17 1940. Obs. in Eng. since early 18th cent. (N.E.D.). Rnf. 1861 J. Barr Poems 147:
Her tongue it will never lie still . . . And gangs like the clack o' a mill.

2. “Slanderous or impertinent discourse” (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems, Gl.); gossip, senseless chatter; language (used contemptuously). Known to Ags.17, Fif.1 1940. Also found in colloq. Eng. (Un. Eng. Dict.). Sc. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables frae the French 18:
It's figurative language I hae used To shaw hoo ye misca'd me wi' yer clack.
Ags. 1815 W. Gardiner Poems and Songs 46:
But my horn I'll gie him corn, For a' his cursed clack.
Edb.1 1940:
Stop yer clack!
Hdg. 1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 93:
But, sad mishanter! now thae days are gane, Whan Scotian callants kent nae leid but ane; . . . Wad never lout newfangled clack to hear: Then could her sangsters loud their steven raise.

II. v.

1. To gossip (Fif.1, Lnk.11 (for Rxb.) 1940). Vbl.n. clacking. Abd. 1931 J. H. Hall Holy Man 48:
You're the biggest gossip in Ardnacraig and ought to have picked up some wisdom with all your clacking.

2. To hatch. Found only as vbl.n. clackin, clackan, a brood (Mry.1 1925, clackin); also used in a derogatory sense of human beings = a great number. Cf. Cleckin(g), 3. Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 26:
Hae a regular succession o' clackins frae about the middle o' March till the end o' August, and never devour aff a haill clackin at ance.
Tyr. 1928 “M. Mulcaghey” Ballymulcaghey (1929) 77:
William dear, do you mind the clackan of sarvants that they used to have in the oul' Curnel's time?

[Prob. echoic; cf. O.Sc. clak, n., a sharp shock or impact, v., to make a clapping noise (D.O.S.T.). Cf. also Fr. claque(r), clap, Du. klak(ken), crack.]

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"Clack n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/clack_n1_v>

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