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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CLATTER-BANES, —BONES, n. comb., pl.

1. Bones which rattle together. Only in proverbial use and apparently used as a sing. by Kelly only. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Fif.10 1937. Cf. Claik-bane.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 387:
Your Tongue goes like the clatter Bone o' a Goose's Arse.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
They're hashin' away “like the clatterbanes o' a duik's back”!

2. “Two pieces of bone or slate [or hard wood] placed between the first and second, or second and third fingers, which are made to produce a sharp or clattering noise, similar to that produced by castanets” (Teviotdale 1825 Jam.2; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin ii.:
Their very teeth rattled forgainst ane-anither like a pair o' clatterbanes.

Clatter-banes n. comb., pl.

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"Clatter-banes n. comb., pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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