Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLART, CLORT, CLAURT, CLAIRT, CLERT, Klart, Klurt, n.1 [klɑrt, klɔrt, klert Sc.; klɛrt Fif.; klçrt m.Sc.; klʌrt Sh., Ork.]

1. Mud, mire. Sometimes in pl. Also fig. Known to Abd.22, Fif.10, Lnl.1, Lnk.3 (1937). Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 146:
Our minister's a worthy man — an' that's nae little praise — But he downa ken his black sheep, nor half their cunnin' ways. Their pens are fu' o' moral clort.
Fif. 1896 “G. Setoun” Robert Urquhart ii.:
She's been pickin' up as she gaed: her belly-band's buried in clerts.
Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 113:
And the horse draigled on through the sleet an' the clart.

2. A lump or clot of something disagreeable or distasteful; “any large, aukward, dirty thing” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2, clairt, ctort). Edm. Gl. (1866) and Angus Gl. (1914) give klurt for Sh. and Cai.3 1931 gives klart. Gen.Sc. Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 119:
He luckid like a klurt o' seut.
Abd. 1929 N. M. Campbell in Sc. Readings, etc. (ed. T. W. Paterson) 89:
Naething can scunner me waur than yer ain kneevlicks o' girsle an' clorts o' fat.
Edb.3 1929:
He took a clart o' glaur and let it flee i' the bullock's ee.
Dmf. 1820 Blackwood Mag. (Nov.) 159:
Saw ye ever sic a supper served up — a claurt o' caul comfortless purtatoes?

3. Extended from the foregoing to indicate a large quantity or number in gen. (Abd.2 1937). Abd. 1914 J. Leatham Daavit 24:
There's aye a clairt o' sax-shullin' noavels ti be got for this place here [lending department].

4. “Dirty wool, hiplocks [q.v.] from sheep” (Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 21). Also in n.Eng. dial.

5. “The thick bannocks baked for the use of the peasantry” (Bch. 1825 Jam.2, clorts).

6. “A big, dirty, untidy person” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 27; Edb.1, Kcb.9 1937); “a dirty housekeeper” (Uls.2 1929). Bnff.(D) 1924 M. Symon in Scots Mag. (June) 188:
Fan I gaed in aboot to the placie — there — wis — Jamie — puir stock — milkin' the kye — and his wife — the muckle clort — shoudin' in a drowlack!
Abd.(D) 1920 G. P. Dunbar Guff o' Peat Reek 8:
The trauchelt lassie focht her best, an' tyauv't tae dee her pairt, Altho' he swore an' ca'd her jist a throw'ther, pleyt'rin' clairt.

[A later formation from the v., q.v., above.]

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"Clart n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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