What is a clatterbag, though? A clatter is defined as a sharp, loud noise, but it can also refer to gossip and defamatory chatter (it also describes a sharp, painful blow or slap, implying the sometimes hurtful nature of gossip). A clatterbag is, thus, someone who gossips prolifically. There are a few variations to the term: depending on the region, some Scots would say clash instead of clatter, so clatterbag would become clashbag. Clatterbash, clatter-stoup (a stoup is a bucket) and clatter-wallet are other deviations from the comparatively widely-used term.
Mrs Martin’s Man, a book by St John G Ervine, features a typical example of its use: “‘Strike you,’ she exclaimed. ‘I wouldn’t lay a finger on you, you ould clatterbash you! How dare you go about spreadin’ stories.’”