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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CLAUT, CLAT, Clatt, Clawt, Klot, Klaat, Claat, Clad, Clate, n. and v. [klɑ(:)t Sc., but m.Sc. and s.Sc. + klǫ(:)t]

1. n.

(1) “A claw of a cat, etc.” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); in pl., “the finger-nails” (Ayr.4 1928); clutching fingers (Lnk.3 1937).Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption vi.:
We maun try to find some tod-hole where the Doctor can ne'er get his clauts owre me.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 62:
What dawds o' cheese, frae out yer clauts, Wi' fury ye ha'e worry'd.

(2) A scratch (Ags.11937). Used fig. in quot.Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail III. vii.:
But ye ken, if her character wer to get sic a claut by a fox paw, ye would be obligated to tak her hame, and mak a genteel settlement befitting your only dochter.

(3). A clutch, grasp, hold (Abd.22, Ags.1 1937).Ayr. 1796 Burns To Col. de Peyster (Cent. ed.) iv.:
Then that curst carmagnole, Auld Satan, Watches, like baudrons by a ratton, Our sinfu' saul to get a claut on.

(4) A turnip hoe; an implement, shaped like a hoe, for scraping or raking up mud, manure, etc. (Ayr. 1902 E.D.D., klot); “an instrument . . . for clearing the bars of a furnace of slag, cinders, ashes” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.) Known to Ags.2, Lnl.1, Kcb.11937. Marw. (1929) gives klat = a byre-scraper for Ork. Also a mattock.Sc. 1799 Prize Essays and Trans. Highl. Soc. Scot. I. 37:
The instruments used for this purpose (to prevent the kelp slag from hardening suddenly) are strong narrow clads, or clatts, with long handles of iron.
Ags. 1875 J. Watson Samples of Common Sense 70:
Tak' rakin' clatt an' scrapin' knife.
Rnf. 1751 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1878) II. 292:
One grate, with tongs, pocker, shovel, clate, and fender.
Ayr. 1873 A. Aitken Poems 42:
A pitchfork, grape, or claut.
sm.Sc. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
clat 1. a hoe for scraping a byre.
Gall. 1930 (per Wgt.3):
At that meenit Johnie rushed oot o' the byre, brandished a claut ower Sandy, an' shouted “Try that on again and I'll droun ye in the middin'.”

Comb.: byre-claut, see Byre, n. (1).

†(.5) In pl.: “two short wooden handles having iron teeth fixed at right angles, formerly used by country people for teasing wool” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also in sing., “a card for teasing wool” (Ib.).

(6) A handful; a lump or mass, as of something scraped together (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.1, Kcb.9 1937). Also attrib. = in lumps, unbroken-down. Freq. a claut o' siller.Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xvii.:
“Clauts o' cauld parridge . . . ” replied Andrew, with a most supercilious sneer, “gude aneugh for dogs.”
Abd. 1760 Gordon's Mill Farming Club (1962) 119:
To outfield land, that never got any manures, he allows 50 bolls of shell, or as they call it clatt lime, to the acre.
Ags. 1822 A. Balfour Farmers' Three Daughters 240:
I wish to sattle that claut o' siller, that there may be nae din about it whan I'm yirdit.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick vii.:
The way he splairges ye wi' butter — layin't on in clauts an' harles, an' lauchin' in til himsel a' the time — to my mind, it wad gar a soo scunner.
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine at Exhibition 4:
Feint a bit if he was far wrang if he wanted a guid wife an' a claut o' siller.

(7) A blow (Bnff.4 1927). Found also in n.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). Cf. similar development in meaning of Claught, n.Sc. 1874 W. Allan Hamespun Lilts 245:
That they micht gie some scaup a claut, Wi' their bit sticks ca'd shillelaghs.

(8) A raking or scraping with a claut. m.Lth. 1921 A. Dodds Antrin Sangs 6:
Jist a clawt and harle in the bygaun.

2. v.

(1) To scratch, claw, tear (Lnl.11937). Vbl.n. clattin. em.Sc. 1988 James Robertson in Joy Hendry Chapman 52 72:
He clautit it out wi his nail, and wis haudin it up tae the licht lik a medal atween his fingers, whan a muckle sea-maw swouffed doun an cleiked it awa in its neb.
Peb. 1838 W. Welsh Poems 25:
Wi' pieces tough whiles i' their mouth, They clattet an' they gaspet.
Lnk. 1877 W. McHutchison Poems 201:
He has . . . the sword that gied Goliath the clattin'.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ayrsh. Legatees v.:
Job . . . was obligated to claut his flesh.
n.Ant. 1931 “Ballymoney” in North. Whig (11 Dec.) 13/1:
I'll clat your face for you.

(2) To scrape, “to free from (dirt, etc.) by scraping” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), gen. with an implement like a hoe or rake; “to scrape up mud” (Ayr. 1902 E.D.D., klot); to rake, lit. and fig; to scrape (ashes) from a grate (clat Arg. 1990s). Vbl.n. clattin(g), gen. in pl., scrapings, rakings. Agent n. clauter, one who rakes or scrapes. Known to Abd.22, Ags.2, Lnl.1, Kcb.9 1937.Sc. 1724–27 Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) 182:
A rake of iron to clat the bire.
Arg. (Southend) 1937 (per Arg.1):
There was Jock doon on his knees claatan aboot on the grun'.
Rnf. 1829 New Scotch Haggis 119:
The fireman laughing, said, a very humble wish indeed-a road clauter for ever.
Gsw. 1776 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1912) 473:
All and every person or persons who are proprietors or posessors of lands in the city of Glasgow, having dunghills or middensteads, shall on their oun charges carry the dung and clattings of the streets sweeped together opposite to their respective tenements.
Lnk. 1947 G. Rae Sandy McCrae 91:
Ower stiff in the banes for clattin' tar an' spreadin' grush on thae Peeblesshire roads.
Ayr. 1843 J. Stirrat Poems (1869) 51:
Except a wee desire to claut Mair to his mailing.
s.Sc. 1933 J. Gillespie in Border Mag. (Dec.) 179:
Old 'Sneck could see . . . only a big raw Highlander, strange in tongue, clauting out the Clartyford byre.

Hence clater, clatter, “an implement for raking rubbish or dirt” (Arg.11929; clatter Arg. 1990s), “species of rake having the raking part of a single board instead of teeth, used in raking ashes off the hearth into the ash-box” (Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.)). Cf. section (4) of the n.

(3) To hoe (turnips, potatoes, etc.) (Ags.1 1937; clat Arg. 1990s).Ags. 1882 Brechin Advertiser (12 Dec.) 3/2:
Faur Jamie Cooper an' you loot muckle Davie Duncan, the foreman, see the way to clat neeps.

(4) To snatch (Uls. 1934 Mid-Ulster Mail (1 Dec.), clat).Sc. 1823 J. Wilson Trials of Margaret Lyndsay (2nd ed.) ix.:
Here is four pound. May it do nae guid to him who clawts it out o' the widow's house.
Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse, Maistly in the Doric 28:
We at last gat the haud o' and clautit them oot.

(5) To scrape with a spoon. Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 18:
An' quietly [the guidman] wad clauted his brose out the pat.

[O.Sc. clat, a scraping hoe, 1655, claut, a grasping hand, a.1689, and clat, v., to paw violently, 1596, to scrape, to clean by scraping, 1656 (D.O.S.T.). Of obscure origin; N.E.D. suggests a connection with claw, through an O.E. *clawet.]

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"Claut n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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