Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLAP, CLAPP, Klap, n.1 Sc. uses of St.Eng. clap. [klɑp]

1. A heavy blow, stroke. Obs. in Eng.; last quot. in N.E.D. 1752. Gen.Sc. Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail I. xxviii.:
“It would just hae past like a pat for true love.” “Eh na, father, it was na a pat, but a scud like the clap o' a fir deal,” said the bridegroom.

2. An affectionate pat (more caressing than Eng. clap). Gen.Sc. Bnff. 1866 Mrs Morton in Bnffsh. Jnl. (2 Jan.) 2:
My mither wad gie his bit headie a clap.

3. In phr. in a clap, in a moment. Gen.Sc. Cf. in a clank s.v. Clank. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 49:
Back in a clap, she's at the very place.

4. “A flat instrument of iron, resembling a box, with a tongue and handle, used for making proclamations through a town, instead of a drum or hand-bell” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). (See also quots.) Also transferred to the person using such an instrument, a town-crier. Sc. 1701 R. Chambers Domestic Annals (1861) III. 245:
Obliged to send clapps, as they call them. . . . (Note): An old mode of advertisement . . . to send an old woman through the streets with a wooden dish and a stick, to clap or beat upon it.
Sc. 1874 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 53:
Betty Dick, an old woman, formerly officiated as town-crier of Dalkeith. . . . In her calling she used what was called a “clap,” . . . which was simply a large wooden trencher and a spoon.
s.Sc. 1912–1919 C. K. Moore in Rymour Club Misc. II. 196:
Spoken ironically of a thing that is only mislaid — I'd send the clap through about it, i.e. send the bellman round the town about it.

5. The clapper of a mill. Sc. 1713 Nairne Peerage Evidence (1873) 47:
Earth and stone of the said lands clap of the said milne and a net for the said fishing as use is.
Bnff. 1702 in J. F. S. Gordon Chrons. of Keith (1880) 82:
Hugh Jamieson discoursing on that head, said . . . that he would prove, by two honest women, That the mill did grind without a clap.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Address to the Unco Guid (Cent. ed.) i.:
The heapet happer's ebbing still, An' still the clap plays clatter!
Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems and Songs 84:
Here there's routh o' running water For to grind the corn and bear. Here the dinsome clap plays clatter A' the seasons o' the year.

Phr.: clap and happer, — hopper, the symbols used in the seizin of mills. Sc. 1759–1761 Fountainhall Decisions I. 432:
A mill is distinctum tenementum, and requires delivery of the clap and happer.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet v.:
He [the miller's son] maun wait on clap and hopper, as they say.

6. In phr. clap o' the hass, klap —, “the uvula” (Ork. 1929 Marw., klap — ). Known to Ags.1, Fif.10 1937. Ags.(D) 1922 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden xi.:
He sookit in a muckle bloo-flea, that made as muckle noise in the back o' his throat, as gin there had been a wasp's bike on the clap o' his hass.

[All the above meanings are found in O.Sc. except 2 (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Clap n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2022 <>



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