- 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 clammer
Historical Examples of clammer
“It was because you did not play the part of a clammer naturally and nobly,” I replied.The Lady and the Pirate
These permits cost 25 cents, and are required from every clammer.
Brings us once again into touch with those delightful and very human people that we learned to know in 'The Clammer.'Old Valentines
Munson Aldrich Havens
A story conceived in the same spirit as 'The Clammer,' filled with the same philosophy, displaying the same keen insight.Concerning Sally
William John Hopkins
The invested capital includes the clammer's outfit and boat, but does not include personal apparel, such as boots and oil skins.
- 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
Word Origin for clam
- a variant of clem
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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with clam
- clam up
- happy as the day is long (as a clam)