Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLYTE, Clite, n.2, v.1 and adv. [kləit]

1. n.

(1) A sudden heavy fall (Bnff.2, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1936). Bnff. 1887  W. M. Philip Covedale x.:
He would get a deil o' a clyte amon' the stanes below.
Abd. 1929  Mains and Hilly in Abd. Wkly. Jnl. (24 Jan.) 6/3:
Gin ye hid gotten the clyte I did ye wid 'a' kent a' aboot it.
Edb. 1876  J. Smith Archie and Bess 79:
It was at the very moment o' his greatest confidence that he got the sairest clyte.

Phr.: to come a clite, to fall heavily, to “come a cropper.” Ags. 1931  W. Muir Imagined Corners (2nd imp.) ii. vii. 127:
She'll come a clite on her head one of these days.

(2) The noise of such a fall. Bnff.(D) 1933  M. Symon Deveron Days 50:
An' nae ae cheep; nae rants nor rows, Nae clyte o' cogs or churns; In lanely maijesty I'm aff To mak' a speech on Burns.

2. v.

(1) To fall heavily (Abd.19, Ags.1, Lnk.3 1936). Sc. a.1856  G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 78:
As he bangs at the wa', or clytes down on the stanes.
Sc. 1829  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 274:
The auld women frae chimley-taps are clytin wi' a crash into every area.
Lnk. 1881  D. Thomson Musings 59:
But aft wi' pride their heads grow licht, An' doon they clyte again.

(2) To sit down heavily or suddenly; “to stop in the midst of a set speech for want of words or ideas, and sit down suddenly” (Sc. 1882 C. Mackay Poet. and Humour Sc. Lang. 49).   Ib.:
“I couldna find words,” said a Glasgow bailie, “and so I clyted.”
Bch. 1929  (per Abd.1):
A' clytet doon in a heap — fair deen oot.

(3) tr. “To cause to fall; to overturn” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

3. adv. Heavily, suddenly (of a fall), gen. in conjunction with the verbs gae, come, play, fall. Often with another adv. (see Fif. quot.). Abd. 1936 22 :
I ca'd 'im clyte on's back.
Bch. 1921  J. Wight in Swatches o' Hamespun 12:
Clyte doon the lum cam' the boody.
Per. 1895  R. Ford Tayside Songs 258:
Yestreen I cam' hame frae the trauchle, My brain in a fever wi' fyke, Fell clyte in a chair like a bauchle, An' growl'd at a' roun' like a tyke.
Fif. 1894  J. W. M`Laren Tibbie and Tam 125–126:
The twa gaed clyte doon on a seat at the side o' the noo hauf-on Tougal.
Ayr. 1882  R. Drennan in
C. Mackay Poet. and Humour Sc. Lang. 49:
He got as far as the road, and then played clyte.
Kcb. 1936 1 :
He fell clyte on the breed o' 'is back.

[Later and more usual form of Cloit, v., adv., and n.1, q.v. See also etym. note to Clype, n.2 and v.2]

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"Clyte n.2, v.1, adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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