Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLAT, Clatt, Claat, n. and v. [klɑ(:)t]

1. n. (1) A lump of something soft (Lnl.1 1937); “a clot of sheep- or cow-dung, especially as adhering to the animal” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); “moist, wet earth” (Sc. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.), mud. Also dim. clatie. Sc. 1936  J. G. Horne Flooer o' the Ling 34:
Cairts rummle past, Some east, some wast, In wat An' clat.
Edb. 1822  R. Wilson Poems 80:
Whyle i' the fields amang the taties, The wives an' weans stood thick wi' claties.
Bwk. 1856  G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 56:
And troth, they play'd a bonny pirn On decent Nelly Shaw. They chang'd her woo' to clatts o' shern — The witches o' Edencraw.
w.Dmf. 1903  J. L. Waugh Thornhill iii.:
In the middle was a hole some two feet in diameter, into which were flung “clats” of porridge, herring bones, pot sypings, and other odds and ends.
Rxb.(D) 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 14:
It wad take . . . a richt claat o creesh, ti cleester a cloor gotten that gait!

(2) A mess; a muddle (Lnl.1 1937); an untidy mass. Per. 1895  R. Ford Tayside Songs 293:
His bloated face an orra sicht, His duds a clat o' shivers.
Lnk. 1929  T. S. Cairncross in Scots Mag. (March) 454:
I fluff in every corner and I look But he ne'er sees the clatt.

2. v. “To bedaub, to dirty” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ags.1, Lnl.1 1937); to clot. Ppl.adj. clattit, clotted, matted. Sc. [1842]  D. Vedder Poems (1878) 179:
The ha'f-lang dusty baxter chiels Wi' scarce a bauchle on their heels . . . Wi' glar micht clatt ye.
Ags. 1886  A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends (1887) vi.:
At the toosie end [of the dog] there were daubs o' clattit hair.

[O.Sc. clat, a clod, 1595 (D.O.S.T.). Also in Eng. dial. Perhaps a dial. variant of Eng. clot, but cf. Mid.Du. clatte, a clot, splotch, and clatten, to bedaub, beslime (Franck s.v. klad).]

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"Clat n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jun 2019 <>



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