Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

KRAM, v., n. Also kramm, cram.

I. v. Of an animal, esp. a cat: to scratch (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1960). Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
De cat kramms . . . to de wast: considered to indicate that the wind is going to be westerly.
Sh. 1916  J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Siptember 30):
It's no ower wise a bairn, 'at da cat is aye krammin.

Derivs.: kramma, -er, a fisherman's taboo-name for a cat (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 121, Sh. 1960).

II. n. A paw, a claw, esp. of a cat, sometimes applied jocularly to the hand (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1960). Dim. krammek, crammack, id., in phr. cat's-krammeks, -crammacks, “clouds over the sky having something of the appearance of hairs streaming from an animal's tail”, small, detached, drifting clouds (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928)).

[Norw. dial. krama, to grab, snatch, Faer. kráma, to snatch at. Prob. ultimately of Ger. orig., cf. Ger. krammen, to scratch, claw.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Kram v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Nov 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: