Green’s Dictionary of Slang

clout n.1

[14C SE clout, a piece of cloth; a handkerchief]

1. [16C–1920s] (UK Und., also snoot-cloot) a cotton handkerchief.

2. [16C+] (also clort) clothing.

3. [mid-17C–1950s] a sanitary towel or a nappy.

4. [1990s+] the vagina; thus generic for women.

In compounds

clout file (n.)

[early 18C] (UK und.) a stealer of handkerchiefs.

In phrases

top a clout (v.)

[early 19C] (UK Und.) to position a handkerchief in a victim’s pocket in readiness for removing it at an apposite moment.