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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CLEARANCE, n. Sc. uses. [′kli:rəns]

1. Proof; revelation (Abd.9 1937).Bnff.2 1941:
Maist o' them dootit aul' Bob's word, an' thocht his story needit some clearance.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 69:
They blessed God for giving them such a clearance of Bessie's guilt as to let them actually hear her in confabulation with the foul thief!

2. In pl.: “a term in the game of marbles, denoting the removal of an obstacle. ‘Nae clearances!' ‘Hy! Clearances!'” (Abd.13 1910; Fif.11937). See ne.Abd. quot. s.v. A'thing.

3. Gen. in pl.: (one of) a series of mass evictions of their tenants by Highland landlords during the later 18th and 19th cs. in pursuit of a policy of clearing the croft land for sheep-runs, specif. those carried out on the Sutherland estates from 1810-1841. The somewhat earlier usage was clearing.Sc. 1844 H. Miller Leading Articles (1870) 139: 
Widespread clearings and stringent removal summonses.
Sc. 1857 D. Macleod Gloomy Memories ii.: 
The first attempt at a general clearing was partially made in Ross-shire.
Sc. 1872 C. Innes Sc. Legal Antiq. 265: 
In 1762, the factor, upon the Drummond estates in Perthshire had made some extensive clearances, removing and ejecting the inhabitants of the glens.
Sc. 1882 J. S. Blackie Altavona 293: 
Those harsh, inhuman, and impolite agrarian changes commonly called the Sutherland Clearances.
Sc. 1923 T. Johnston Hist. Working Classes 202: 
As a general rule the clearances effected before the middle of last century were designed for the rent increase which sheep farming entailed.
Sth. 1845 Times (20 May) 6: 
The systematic "clearances" (as they are here called) carried on in Sutherlandshire some 25 years ago, under the direction and on the estate of the late Marchioness of Stafford. . . . One of these "clearances" is about to take place in the parish of Kincardine.

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"Clearance n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



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