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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

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

1. Mud, mire (clart Cai., Bnff., Abd., Edb., Gsw., Ayr., Dmf.; clort Bnff., Abd.; clairt Edb.; clert Dmf. 2000s). Sometimes in pl. Also fig. Known to Abd.22, Fif.10, Lnl.1, Lnk.3 (1937).Dundee 1996 Matthew Fitt Pure Radge 4:
aye hingin
hootchin wi clart.
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 49:
"That whatever the danger is, it is better for us to die on our feet than live on our knees with our faces to the clart, ... "
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.
Uls. 2005:
My skirt got covered in 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.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 7:
An fit made it aa the mair vexxin, Davie hid gotten a Steeler-a great glimmerin clort o a boolie tae add tae his collection.
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 [see Hip,n.1, 3.] from sheep” (Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 21; Lnk. 1990s). Also in n.Eng. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
clart 2. a clot of wool or manure on an animal.

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; Fif., Edb., Ayr., Dmf. 2000s); “a dirty housekeeper” (Uls.2 1929).Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 83:
... Drusilla Matches called on Gabriel Stout, and after a passionate outburst in which she described him as a chit, a double-crossing whelp, a sneck in the gress, a worthless clurt, and other choice epithets, slung her engagement ring in his face.
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!
ne.Sc. 1994 Alastair Mackie in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 97:
Granite for Edward the seventh's statue, wi doo's shite on his brou, the fat clort.
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.
Edb. 1993:
Baith the twa o ma bairns are clairts.
Gsw. 1993:
What a clert!

[A later formation from the v., q.v. Clart,v.1]

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"Clart n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Feb 2024 <>



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