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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CLAM, Claum, v. “To grope or grasp ineffectually” (Ayr. 1825 Jam.2; also Bnff.4 1928); “to clam or glam, is to snatch or grasp eagerly: to claum or glaum, is to grope as in the dark” (Ayr. 1879 Jam.5). Known to Kcb.10 1940 in sense of “grasp, snatch.” Also found in s.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). See also Glaum.Ayr. 1822 Galt Steam-boat xii.:
I had not, however, lain long in that posture, when I felt, as I thought, a hand claming over the bed-clothes.

[Norw. klemme, to seize with the claws (Falk and Torp); M.H.Ger. klemmen, to squeeze, Teut. root klam, to press together (Kluge).]

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"Clam v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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