This delicacy currently makes no appearance in the Dictionaries of the Scots Language, except for a mention in an example from Victor McClure’s Scotland’s Inner Man (1935), describing a ‘clap scone’ as a
“A sort of simple Scots pancake of wheat flour with no flavouring but salt, made with boiling water, patted thin and baked on a hot floured girdle”.
However, the Oxford English Dictionary describes the Scotch pancake as ‘a drop scone’, and I think that’s accurate. A Scots pancake is a small, round, thick pancake. Mairi Williams describes them as clap scones too in a recipe for BBC Food:
“Scotch pancakes, sometimes called drop scones, are traditionally served as a teatime treat with butter and jam, but also make a great breakfast or brunch topped with berries and a dollop of yoghurt.”
Recipes abound and The Glasgow Times of January 2004 recorded some interesting variations on good Scots food found at a Burns Supper:
“Some of the more interesting combinations include mushy pea sushi rice topped with fresh fried haddock nigiri, haggis and pickled neeps roll and scotch pancake sandwich”.
The “Scotch pancake” was even recommended as a healthy snack in the Daily Record of August 2022.
The Scots pancake was also suggested as a healthy mid-morning snack for dieters in the Herald of March 2005:
“Mid-morning snack: milk, mini Scots pancake with margarine, tangerine”.
Not quite sure what a ‘mini-Scots pancake’ would look like. They are, after all, pretty small to start with - unlike its larger, thinner big brother the crepe.
This Scots Word of the Week was written by Pauline Cairns Speitel. Visit DSL Online at https://dsl.ac.uk.