Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLAUT, CLAT, Clatt, Clawt, Klot, Klaat, Claat, Clad, n. and v. [klɑ(:)t Sc., but m.Sc. and s.Sc. + kl(:)t]

1. n.

(1) “A claw of a cat, etc.” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); in pl., “the finger-nails” (Ayr.4 1928); clutching fingers (Lnk.3 1937). Rnf. 1790  A. Wilson Poems 62:
What dawds o' cheese, frae out yer clauts, Wi' fury ye ha'e worry'd.

(2) A scratch (Ags.11937). Used fig. in quot. Ayr. 1823  Galt Entail III. vii.:
But ye ken, if her character wer to get sic a claut by a fox paw, ye would be obligated to tak her hame, and mak a genteel settlement befitting your only dochter.

(3). A clutch, grasp, hold (Abd.22, Ags.1 1937). Ayr. 1796  Burns To Col. de Peyster (Cent. ed.) iv.:
Then that curst carmagnole, Auld Satan, Watches, like baudrons by a ratton, Our sinfu' saul to get a claut on.

(4) A turnip hoe; an implement, shaped like a hoe, for scraping or raking up mud, manure, etc. (Ayr. 1902 E.D.D., klot); “an instrument . . . for clearing the bars of a furnace of slag, cinders, ashes” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). Known to Ags.2, Lnl.1, Kcb.11937. Marw. (1929) gives klat = a byre-scraper for Ork. Sc. 1799  Prize Essays and Trans. Highl. Soc. Scot. I. 37:
The instruments used for this purpose (to prevent the kelp slag from hardening suddenly) are strong narrow clads, or clatts, with long handles of iron.
Ags. 1875  J. Watson Samples of Common Sense 70:
Tak' rakin' clatt an' scrapin' knife.
Ayr. 1873  A. Aitken Poems 42:
A pitchfork, grape, or claut.
Gall. 1930  (per Wgt.3):
At that meenit Johnie rushed oot o' the byre, brandished a claut ower Sandy, an' shouted “Try that on again and I'll droun ye in the middin'.”

Comb.: byre-claut, see Byre, n. (1).

†(.5) In pl.: “two short wooden handles having iron teeth fixed at right angles, formerly used by country people for teasing wool” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also in sing., “a card for teasing wool” (Ib.).

(6) A handful; a lump or mass, as of something scraped together (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.1, Kcb.9 1937). Freq. a claut o' siller. Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy xvii.:
“Clauts o' cauld parridge . . . ” replied Andrew, with a most supercilious sneer, “gude aneugh for dogs.”
Ags. 1822  A. Balfour Farmers' Three Daughters 240:
I wish to sattle that claut o' siller, that there may be nae din about it whan I'm yirdit.
Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick vii.:
The way he splairges ye wi' butter — layin't on in clauts an' harles, an' lauchin' in til himsel a' the time — to my mind, it wad gar a soo scunner.
Kcb. 1897  A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine at Exhibition 4:
Feint a bit if he was far wrang if he wanted a guid wife an' a claut o' siller.

(7) A blow (Bnff.4 1927). Found also in n.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). Cf. similar development in meaning of Claught, n. Sc. 1874  W. Allan Hamespun Lilts 245:
That they micht gie some scaup a claut, Wi' their bit sticks ca'd shillelaghs.

2. v.

(1) To scratch, claw, tear (Lnl.11937). Ayr. 1821  Galt Ayrsh. Legatees v.:
Job . . . was obligated to claut his flesh.
n.Ant. 1931  “Ballymoney” in North. Whig (11 Dec.) 13/1:
I'll clat your face for you.

(2) To scrape, “to free from (dirt, etc.) by scraping” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), gen. with an implement like a hoe or rake; “to scrape up mud” (Ayr. 1902 E.D.D., klot). Known to Abd.22, Ags.2, Lnl.1, Kcb.9 1937. Sc. 1724–27  Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) 182:
A rake of iron to clat the bire.
Arg. 1937  (Southend) (per
There was Jock doon on his knees claatan aboot on the grun'.
s.Sc. 1933  J. Gillespie in Border Mag. (Dec.) 179:
Old 'Sneck could see . . . only a big raw Highlander, strange in tongue, clauting out the Clartyford byre.

Hence clater, clatter, “an implement for raking rubbish or dirt” (Arg.11929), “species of rake having the raking part of a single board instead of teeth, used in raking ashes off the hearth into the ash-box” (Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.)). Cf. section (4) of the n.

(3) To hoe (turnips, potatoes, etc.) (Ags.1 1937). Ags. 1882  Brechin Advertiser (12 Dec.) 3/2:
Faur Jamie Cooper an' you loot muckle Davie Duncan, the foreman, see the way to clat neeps.

(4) To snatch (Uls. 1934 Mid-Ulster Mail (1 Dec.), clat). Sc. 1823  J. Wilson Trials of Margaret Lyndsay (2nd ed.) ix.:
Here is four pound. May it do nae guid to him who clawts it out o' the widow's house.
Ayr. 1912  G. Cunningham Verse, Maistly in the Doric 28:
We at last gat the haud o' and clautit them oot.

[O.Sc. clat, a scraping hoe, 1655, claut, a grasping hand, a.1689, and clat, v., to paw violently, 1596, to scrape, to clean by scraping, 1656 (D.O.S.T.). Of obscure origin; N.E.D. suggests a connection with claw, through an O.E. *clawet.]

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"Claut n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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