This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Word To Use Today: clishmaclaver.

Some words are much too much fun to ignore.

Scots English is a cornucopia of gorgeous words, but they tend to be a trifle too theatrical for English people to use without feeling a bit, well, un-English.

On this occasion, though, I think the people of the whole world should throw off their inhibitions and let the word clishmaclaver* fall ringingly from our lips.


Yes, just like that. I know it's a bit long and attention-seeking, but it won't kill us, will it.

What does it mean?

Clishmaclaver means idle talk or gossip.

So it's not even as if anyone's going to lack the opportunity to use it.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Word To Use Today: clishmaclaver. This word comes from clish-clash, which is an imitation of the sound gossiping makes, plus claver, which also means gossip.

Yes, the whole thing's been put together entirely for fun. Hurray for Scots!

*You say it KLISHmaCLAYver.


  1. I've been away from the Word Den for ages and already I am telling myself how STUPID that is! I will try and make a daily visit from now's just such fun. Nice to find such a good word on my return...I will use it constantly!

  2. There are *so* many words in English related to gossip and idle talk, from the utterly pompous 'bavardage' to the vapid shop-counter chatterings of 'bibble-babble'.

    I did not know clishmaclaver. And I love it. Thank you!

    1. Bavardage is a new one on me, Ed. It is rather horrible, I agree, but I can't help but be charmed to see it comes from a French word meaning slobber.

      Hm...perhaps charmed isn't exactly the word I was groping towards...

    2. I wrote about bavardage here. I rather like it - as it carries all the snootiness and pomposity of two idle gossipers.