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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

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.]

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"Kram v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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