- to gather or dig clams.
- clam up, Slang. to refuse to talk or reply; refrain from talking or divulging information: The teacher asked who had thrown the eraser, but the class clammed up.
Origin of clam1
Examples from the Web for clammed
When Peruvian authorities refused to send him back to Aruba, he clammed up.Van der Sloot's Lawyer Trouble
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Dan Collyns
June 14, 2010
Months later, when I challenged Colonel Boyatt on this highly counterproductive order to his troops, he clammed up on me.Bill Clinton's Shameful Haiti Legacy
January 19, 2010
Kellner had clammed up, and when the now suspicious editor had tried to check Colquhoun's tale personally, Colquhoun had vanished.Cue for Quiet
Thomas L. Sherred
But he clammed up about that, hoping to keep it a secret until he could go back and claim it.The Space Pioneers
The crack above the door should not be clammed until the muffle begins to get warm.Pottery, for Artists Craftsmen & Teachers
George J. Cox
Clammed means starvation; that is, care killed the cat; for want of food the entrails get "clammed."Our Cats and All About Them
- any of various burrowing bivalve molluscs of the genera Mya, Venus, etc. Many species, such as the quahog and soft-shell clam, are edible and Tridacna gigas is the largest known bivalve, nearly 1.5 metres long
- the edible flesh of such a mollusc
- informal a reticent person
- (intr) mainly US to gather clams
- a variant of clem
Word Origin and History for clammed
bivalve mollusk, c.1500, in clam-shell, originally Scottish, apparently a particular use from Middle English clam "pincers, vice, clamp" (late 14c.), from Old English clamm "bond, fetter, grip, grasp," from Proto-Germanic *klam- "to press or squeeze together" (cf. Old High German klamma "cramp, fetter, constriction," German Klamm "a constriction"). If this is right then the original reference is to the shell. Clam-chowder attested from 1822. To be happy as a clam is from 1833, but the earliest uses do not elaborate on the notion behind it, unless it be self-containment.
"to dig for clams," 1630s, American English, from clam (n.). Clam up "be quiet" is 1916, American English, but clam was used in this sense as an interjection mid-14c.
Idioms and Phrases with clammed
In addition to the idiom beginning with clam
- clam up
- happy as the day is long (as a clam)