View OED entry

cludgie noun earlier than 1969

Bryn provided evidence from 1961.

If you ask a Scot to point you in the direction of the cludgie, he or she will most likely know exactly where you want to go, but may wince at your use of slang. For the uninitiated, cludgie is a Scottish word meaning “toilet”, although probably not to be used in the politest of companies. When the OED published its entry for cludgie in a recent update, the earliest evidence we found was in Glasgow-born author George Friel’s 1969 novel Grace & Miss Partridge:

She gangs tae the cludgie ten times every night.

1972 G. Friel Grace & Miss Partridge i. 11

It’s likely that any earlier evidence might refer to an outdoors facility as indoor lavatories would still have been something of a luxury for many people. Can you help us find anything?

Posted by OED_Editor on 12 July 2013 8.40
Comments: 8

Tags: , ,

  • Bryn_OED

    McIlvanney,W. (1968) A Gift from Nessus , London, Eyre & Spottiswoode, `page 92’ has:

    “`Sub-fertility clinic.’ Nice name. Boy, that makes you feel good for a start. They might as well have `Sexual scrubbers’ above the door. Have miniature urinals in the cludgie. There was a bunch of us in this waiting-room.”

    British Library Catalogue entry

  • Bryn_OED

    McIlvanney,W. (1968) A Gift from Nessus , London, Eyre & Spottiswoode, `page 92’ has:

    “`Sub-fertility clinic.’ Nice name. Boy, that makes you feel good for a start. They might as well have `Sexual scrubbers’ above the door. Have miniature urinals in the cludgie. There was a bunch of us in this waiting-room.”

    Copyright page
    British Library Catalogue entry

  • Bryn_OED

    Inglis, B. [Ed.] (1961) John Bull’s schooldays , London, Hutchinson, `page77’, has:

    “Daddy MacMickle kept us douce
    With tales of shell and mortar-bomb
    And rifle-fire and trench and wire
    And the shauchly Gorbals serjeant, Archie Gomme.
    The cludgies stank and had no doors;
    On the stippled concrete cannibals reeled;
    And there I learned the cunning art
    Of judging when a smout must yield
    To keelies, or, if pressed too far,
    Of kicking hard and foul in the fighting-field …”

    Copyright page
    British Library Catalogue entry

    The Spectator Vol.207, also, seems to have
    the same poem.

  • Bryn_OED

    Early versions of the `scurrilous parody’ Cod Liver Oil and Orange Juice ,
    linked to Ron Clark / Carl MacDougall / Hamish Imlach, would seem to both antedate
    1969 and to contain the lyric:

    Oot cam her mammy, she’s goin’ tae the cludgie
    Oh oh, ah buggered off sharpish
    Ah haw, glory hallelujah

    • Ken Hunt

      The song appeared on Hamish Imlach’s self-titled LP on Transatlantic Records’ imprint XTRA 1039 in 1966.
      More information at http://www.theballadeers.com/scots/hi_d05_HI.htm

      and http://www.mysongbook.de/msb/songs/c/codliver.html

      Ken Hunt

      • evj1940

        We moved to Lovain Cottage in Tynemouth near Newcastle in 1946 and it actually had a cludgie and it was outside in the back yard. It was murder if you were caught short in the middle of winter.
        We also had a Muck Man who came around every night with a horse and cart and cleaned it out.

        As children we had a song:

        Muck man muck man all through the night
        In and out the alleys with a barrow load of shite.
        Muck man muck man in and out the doors.
        My job is business can I mind yours.

        Happy days>

  • Arcturus

    From an ‘Ode Tae Proper Beer’ (not old as far as I know)

    Now they pit oot the auld pub budgie
    And hung up curtains in the cludgie
    They swept the sawdust up frae the flair
    And proper beer it was nae mair.

  • stilts19

    My aunts house in Stranraer had a cludgie in the back garden. It was like an outhouse but it had a flushing toilet. It was my understanding that a “cludgie” was more of a toilet that was either a common toilet (like in the old “single ends”) or an outdoor lavvy, like at my aunt’s house. I could be wrong but I never heard my Glasgow-raised mom, or my Scottish grandparents, ever referring to the indoor toilet as a cludgie