Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLAES, CLAISE, Clais, Cleys, Clease, Cleas, Gen.Sc. forms of Eng. clothes. See also Claith, n., 2. Dim. claesie. [kle:z Sc., but ne.Sc. + kləiz, kleiz; klɪəz s.Sc.; kleiz Ant.] Sc. 1818 S. E. Ferrier Marriage II. xi.:
As soon as the ceremony was ow'r, ilk ane ran till her an' rugget an' rave at her for the favors, till they hardly left the claise upon her back.
Abd. 1759 F. Douglas Rural Love 11:
Twa site of clais, ane double blew, And ane of tartan, maist split new.
Bch. 1929 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 131:
A gied hame on a Sunday fyles for ma clean cleys.
Ags. 1892 D. L. Greig Pastime Musings i. 35:
Then mither takes her claesie aff An' puts her to her bed.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 55:
So Flunky braw, whan drest in master's claise, Struts to Auld Reikie's cross on sunny days.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 96:
An' in her cleas be buskit braw.
Rxb. 1873 Book of Ruth iii. in D.S.C.S. 247:
Wæsch-yersel than, an' ræd-yersel up, an' pyt on (y)eir guid clease, an' slyp doon tui the bærn.

Combs.: 1. claes-beetle, “a mallet for beating clothes in washing” (Gall. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.); known to Bnff.4 1928; Abd.9, Ags.17 1940; 2. claes-hoister, -stenter, a clothes-prop, wooden pole used for raising the clothes-line (Kcb.10 1940, -stenter); 3. claes-pole, (1) = 2; (2) pole of wood or iron to which the clothes-rope is attached; both Gen.Sc.; 4. claes-rope, “a clothes-line” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), Gen.Sc.; 5. claise screen, a clothes-horse, Gen.Sc.; 6. dead (′deid)-claes, see Deid, IV. 7. 1. Gall. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 52:
I noticed a nail ca't into the back o' the bed, an' a verra big claes-beetle hingin' tae't by a string.
2. Ags. 1893 Arbroath Guide (15 July) 3/7:
Marget brocht up her claes-hoister frae the green.
3. (1) Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems and Sketches 51:
Tae mak' matters waur ye had tae tumble the claes pole in the lobby wi' a noise sufficient tae wauken the hale laun.
(2) Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xiii.:
They were oot at the back door scorin' goals wi't throo atween the claes-poles on the green.
5. Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. vii.:
Ganging about wi' a claise screen tied to your back.

[O.Sc. has clais(e), claes, etc., from a.1487. The uncontracted forms, cla(i)this, cleathes, etc., pl. of clath, appear from a.1400 (D.O.S.T. s.v. clath(e)).]

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"Claes n. pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Jun 2021 <>



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