Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLARTY, CLORTY, CLERTY, CLURTY, adj. and v. [′klɑrt, ′klɔrt, ′klert Sc.; ′klʌrt Sh.]

1. adj.

(1) Dirty, muddy; sticky. Gen.Sc. L.Bnff.(D) 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 36:
On ferm an' craft the fowk gaed daft, The peats grew clorty, weet an' saft.
Abd. 1932 D. Campbell Bamboozled 35:
They winna keep in a paper poke, Dauvit; they'll tirn saft an' clorty.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 27:
Wer't na for it [water] the bonny lasses Would glowr nae mair in keeking glasses . . . For wha thro' clarty masquera′de Could then discover, Whether the features under shade Were worth a lover?
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 8:
I've whiles had a gey clarty face, Yet a' folk meet me wi' gude grace.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. s.v. clatch:
Gaun clatchin' throw the hoose wi' clerty shuin.

(2) Of a painting, etc.: daubed, smudgy (Bnff.2, Abd.9 1937). Sh.(D) 1916 J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr Jooly 19:
Da boaniest pictur can look clurty, if ye staand ower close.

(3) Comb.: clorty-breed, gingerbread (Ags.1 1937). Ags.10 1925:
Ma mither was awfu' fond o' clorty-breed.

2. v. To dirty (Ags.1 1937). Ags. 1921 A. S. Neill Carroty Broon ii.:
And Mrs Broon smiled and said it didna matter, that what were table-cloths for but to clorty?

[Clarty and clairtie, dirty, filthy, are exemplified in D.O.S.T. from a.1586.]

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"Clarty adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Feb 2020 <>



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