Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

CLEESH, Cleish, Creesh, int. and n. [kliʃ, kriʃ]

I. int. A term in the game of marbles (see quot.). Creesh is used at Montrose (Ags.11937). Also used sim. in bowls (e.Lth. 1950) and in Dundee in the game of pinner (Ags. 1975).Ags. (Friockheim) 1916 T.S.D.C. II.:
In the game of marbles, if the player wanted the ground clear for his shot, he said “cleesh.”
Fif. 1920
If a stone or other obstruction was lying near, the marble could be lifted and placed behind it with the words "nae cleesh." This made things more difficult for the other player who could neither see nor hit the marble.

II. n. Room to move or manoeuvre, elbow room, a wide berth (Ags. 1975). Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 35: 
I gies fatever it wiz at the fut ee stairs plenty o' cleish this time.
Ags. 1946 D. Twitter Tales 18: 
Noo, I wiz gettin' some cleish in my room.

[Origin unknown, but for interchange of l and r, cf. Channel, n.1, and Channer, n.1]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Cleesh interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: