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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CLAT, Clatt, Claat, Claud, n. and v. [klɑ(:)t]

1. n. (1) A lump of something soft (Lnl.1 1937); “a clot of sheep- or cow-dung, especially as adhering to the animal” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); “moist, wet earth” (Sc. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.), mud; a dirty person. Also dim. clatie.Sc. 1936 J. G. Horne Flooer o' the Ling 34:
Cairts rummle past, Some east, some wast, In wat An' clat.
Sh. 18th c. in Stat. Acc.2 XV. 125:
No butter be rendered for payment of land rent, or for sale, but such as is clean from hairs and claud, and other dirt.
Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 57:
Ye hid tae sweep up aa the guts and clat lying aboot and then tak aa the gut barrels ootside tae the closie.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 80:
Whyle i' the fields amang the taties, The wives an' weans stood thick wi' claties.
Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 56:
And troth, they play'd a bonny pirn On decent Nelly Shaw. They chang'd her woo' to clatts o' shern — The witches o' Edencraw.
Peb. 1838 W. Welsh Poems 8:
This monster's hands were like woo' clats.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 16:
clatty or clarty To call somebody a clat means that you think he is dirty, whether physically or mentally.
w.Dmf. 1903 J. L. Waugh Thornhill iii.:
In the middle was a hole some two feet in diameter, into which were flung “clats” of porridge, herring bones, pot sypings, and other odds and ends.
Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 14:
It wad take . . . a richt claat o creesh, ti cleester a cloor gotten that gait!

(2) A mess; a muddle (Lnl.1 1937); an untidy mass.Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 293:
His bloated face an orra sicht, His duds a clat o' shivers.
Lnk. 1929 T. S. Cairncross in Scots Mag. (March) 454:
I fluff in every corner and I look But he ne'er sees the clatt.

2. v. “To bedaub, to dirty” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ags.1, Lnl.1 1937); to clot. Ppl.adj. clattit, clotted, matted.Sc. [1842] D. Vedder Poems (1878) 179:
The ha'f-lang dusty baxter chiels Wi' scarce a bauchle on their heels . . . Wi' glar micht clatt ye.
Ags. 1886 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends (1887) vi.:
At the toosie end [of the dog] there were daubs o' clattit hair.

[O.Sc. clat, a clod, 1595 (D.O.S.T.). Also in Eng. dial. Perhaps a dial. variant of Eng. clot, but cf. Mid.Du. clatte, a clot, splotch, and clatten, to bedaub, beslime (Franck s.v. klad).]

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"Clat n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



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