Definition of sclaff
: to scrape the ground instead of hitting the ball cleanly on a golf stroke
Did You Know?
There's no dearth of names for bad shots on the golf course. The duffer can dub, slice, hook, top, pull, push, sky, shank, or sclaff a shot. Sclaff is a word at home-albeit not warmly welcomed-on the Scottish links. In Scots, sclaff originally referred to a slap with the palm of the hand and was likely of onomatopoeic origin. The similarity of the painful resonance of a sclaff to the disheartening thud of a golf club striking the ground behind a ball did not go unnoticed by grimacing golfers on the fairway. By the 19th century's end, sclaff was being used as both a noun and verb for such a stroke.
Origin of sclaff
Scots, from sclaff, noun, literally, blow with the palm; probably of imitative origin
First Known Use: 1893
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