Friday, 21 January 2011


Diarmaid O Muirithe explained the Ulster-Scots word claut in the Irish Times on Monday (17 January 2911).
An interesting word from Ulster and Scotland is claut, also found in places as clat.  A noun, it means a grasping hand, a hold, clutch.  Jamieson's 19th century Scots Dictionary has, 'Of a covetous person it is said, He takes a claut wherever he can get it.' ...  The noun also means a handful, as much as the hand can hold. ... Walter Scott in Midlothian has, 'An auld carle wi' a bit land an a gude clat o' siller besides.'
In both Scotland and Ulster you'll find the word claut to mean a long-handled scraper to rake cinders from a fire, or leaves for the burning.  And so a rakeful, what is scraped together, such as Scott has in Rob Roy: 'Clauts o' cauld parritch, gude aneuch for dogs.'

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