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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.

CLOD, Cloud, v.1 [klɔd Sc., but m.Sc. + klod]

1. To free land from clods. Obs. in Eng. since early 17th cent. (N.E.D.). Vbl.n. cloding.Sc. 1727–44 J. Cockburn Letters (S.H.S. 1904) 88:
I am against Sowing the Barley and Clover till the Weeds have had some time to spring, and that the mould is very fine by ploughing, harrowing or cloding if necessary.
Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. Agric. 323:
Immediately before sowing, the Ground must be well harrowed, clodded, and cleaned from all Obstructions.
Arg. 1798 J. Smith Gen. View Agric. Arg. 95:
The ground after sowing should be well clodded.

Comb.: cloddin(g)-mell, a heavy mallet used to break clods (Ork. 1975). Dmb. 1794 D. Ure Agric. Dmb. 53:
All the clods are broken with a clodding-mell; but the lint soils are generally so pliable that the operation of clodding is commonly omitted.

Phrs.: (1) to clod the clover, to gather stones from a field from which a hay crop is to be taken (Arg.1 1937); (2) to clod water, to deepen the bed of a stream by removing stones from it (see quot.). (2) Slg. 1811 Farmer's Mag. (Aug.) 299:
Where the rivulet was incessantly ravaging or overflowing its banks Mr L. effectually cured both irregularities by clodding the water every summer flood. By removing every layer of stones successively uncovered, he sunk the channel to such a depth as rendered the adjacent fields secure from inundation; and by laying those stones along the shelving banks, he rendered them invulnerable by the most impetuous torrent.

2. To pelt with missiles, prob. orig. clods or sods, now extended to any sort of missile. (N.E.D. gives “to pelt with clods,” but with no Eng. example.) Also with at. Gen.Sc. Also vbl.n. Sc. 1888 Sc. Leader (28 Nov.) 7:
The crowd of boys still kept stoning and clodding him for a considerable distance along the road.
Abd.(D) 1920 C. Murray In the Country Places 2:
Syne he cloddit wi' yowies [fir cones] a squirrel he saw Teetin' roon fae the back o' a tree.
Kcd. c.1950 Dennis Smith ed. The Third Statistical Account of Scotland: The county of Kincardine (1988) 63:
In the early days of last century, supersitition was rife. Stone throwing and cloddings have much in common. The witches openly cast stones. The cloddings took place by the instrumentality of an unseen agent, usually supposed to be in league with Satan.
Lnk. 1709 Minutes J.P.s Lnk. (S.H.S. 1931) 67:
She . . . thereupon clouded him away with stones.
Wgt. 1939 J. McNeillie Wigtown Ploughman ix.:
They dinna spake tae him fur a while, an' whun he gets angrier they get feart he'll clod them oot.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet xvi.:
Sae wi' a lang white serk on, an' a can'le in their hands, they set them up for the rabble fowk to clod at them.
Uls. 1901 J. W. Byers in North. Whig Lecture 1:
“Clodding” the police is the local term in Belfast for pelting them with stones.

3. To throw, “to throw forcibly, most probably as one throws a clod” (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.2). Often with an adv., e.g. clod doon, clod by (= aside).Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary (1818) xxix.:
The peer lass clodded hersell o'er the scaur.
Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff xxi.:
“Dae naething rash” said Moff, warningly, “Hae the doctor's orders afore 'e clod it by.”
Ayr. 1790 J. Fisher Poems 113:
I'm blethrin now ye'll think, wha kens — Weel then, I will clod by my pens.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet xxxiii.:
Rinnin' an' cloddin' stanes at puir Jock.
Dwn.(D) 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxxviii.:
Cum here wi' them Sally Lunns, boy! Clod them doon here!

[First appearance in O.Sc. c.1500–c.1512 in sense of “pelt with clods or other missiles.” Meaning 1 is exemplified in N.E.D. as early as c.1420.]

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"Clod v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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