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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CLACKAN, Clacken, n. “A wooden hand-bat or racquet used by the boys at the Edinburgh Academy and High School” (Edb. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.). Known to Slg.3 c.1875. In earlier use = a shuttlecock (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinstone Propriety II. 192). See note to Cleckinbrod and Cleckin, n.2 The word is still in use.Sc. 1898 E. Blantyre Simpson R. L. Stevenson 151:
He ran off to his task, rasping his clacken on the area railings as he went . . . clackens were put to their orthodox use in brief play intervals.
Sc. publ. 1922 R. L. Stevenson New Poems 448:
The roll-book is closed in the room, The clackan is gone with the slate.
Sc. 1933 E. S. Haldane Scotland of our Fathers 53:
All would be armed with “clackans,” wooden bats suitable for playing shinty or “hails,” or hitting other boys' heads.

[For etym., see note to Clack, n.1 and v., and cf. Cleckinbrod.]

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"Clackan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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