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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CLART, CLORT, CLAIRT, KLURT, v.1 Also found in n.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). [klɑrt, klɔrt, klert Sc.; klçrt m.Sc.; klʌrt Sh.]

1. tr. To besmear; to spread thickly (Cai.8 1934); to dirty. Edm. Gl. (1866) gives the form klurt for Sh. and Ork. and Angus Gl. (1914) for Sh. Gen.Sc. The form, being taken as a pa.p., has produced a back-formation clair, with a new pa.p. claired (up), botched, messed up, bedaubed, sullied (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; m.Lth. 1975).Sc. 1808 E. Hamilton Cottagers of Glenburnie (1822) ix.:
The buirds were a wee thought clarted wi' parritch, but it was weel dried on.
Ork. 1995 Orcadian (2 Nov.)  16:
All the racing men were liberally clarted with mud.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 215:
He went back to Alison. She was making pots and clarted with clay, but she greeted him and they drank coffee together.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 27:
The painter clortit a' the door wee paint.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 24:
Ae ferlie dumfounert him. Dug soss didna clart the pavements like it did in Aiberdeen, trampit aff bi unwary feet in aa directions in the weet.
Mearns 1932 “L. G. Gibbon” Sunset Song i. 52:
And then towels came doun, towels clairted with stuff she didn't dare look at.
wm.Sc. 1989 Scotsman (15 Jul.)  4:
Another flew into a byre after a sparrow and ended up in the grip, stunned. When it came to it flapped up the grip, clarting itself with dung and urine.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 100:
The idlers wi' glaur wad his “turn-oot” sair clairt.

2. intr.

(1) To do anything in a slovenly, dirty manner; to work with dirty or clammy substances (Bnff.2, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1937).Abd. Yon Toune iii. in Sc. Notes and Queries (March 1935) 47:
It's spit an' rub at yon toune, It's clort an' dicht at yon toune.
m.Sc. 1922 “O. Douglas” Ann and Her Mother xxii.:
Hoo onybody can like clartin' aboot in folk's insides!
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 157:
Autumn: and Mairi clarted about in the dyeing vat. ... she was herself more colours than the rainbow, and the cloth from the loom was a brilliant pile of all the chequered tartan ...

(2) With wee (wi'): to give excessive care and attention to; to fuss over to little purpose (Bnff.2 1937). Vbl.n. clortan.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 27:
The aul' bodie hauds a sair clortan wee hir bit cooie.

[Mid.Eng. has biclarten in the same sense, c.1230. Further history unknown.]

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"Clart v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



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