Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Tracing the origin of Jon Mitchell's weather-word 'clarty'

John Gaskin's photo of a Credit: John Gaskin

A photograph of a 'clarty' track, featured last week in Jon Mitchell's weather chat, prompted a discussion of the word's origins.

Oxford Dictionaries define it as meaning of "sticky mud, filth"; and claim the word to be of Northern English or even Scottish descent.

But viewers have been giving more exact locations as to where they've heard the word.

Sandie Nicholson's photo of a little dog in a 'clarty mess' Credit: Sandie Nicholson

Barbara Calvert told us that her father, from Thirsk, used the term around the family farm. She now lives in Northallerton, and used the word in reference to her six-year-old grandson helping himself to porridge!

That was affirmed by Ali Binns, who said: "This word needs bringing back!". "My family, from the North East, would use this term to describe a sticky mess, especially when referring to sticky hands or face after getting messed up with chocolate or sticky goodies!"

Another person told us that it's a phrase used regularly on the Lincolnshire and Nottingham border. But Joe, in Sheffield, said the more common word during his York childhood was "claggy".

For some, the word also conjured up memories of confusion. Michelle Rogers put it best, when she tweeted: "I definitely used the term during my Derbyshire childhood, but I remember a lot of blank faces when I then moved to Essex and continued to use it."

WATCH: Jon Mitchell discussing the word 'clarty' (first transmitted: 11 February 2019).