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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Outbrek, n. Also: -brekk, -breck, -breke, -break, -brak, -braik. [Of uncertain derivation.The Orkney and Shetl. provenance suggests that the second element is ON. brekka wk. fem., pl. brekkur a slope, whence perh. mod. Orkney, Shetl., Caithness and (obsol.) Roxburghsh. dial. brekk, pl. brekks, also braiks and brack, uncultivated or fallow land adjoining or lying between pieces of cultivated land, ‘shallow, infertile ground which is not under cultivation’: cf. also mod. Shetl. dial. utbroggs ‘hilly soil in the outskirts of the home-field’ f. the cognate broggs pl. uneven ground.Cf., however, Outbrek(e v.2 and also brek out and brek furth, Brek v. 2 b, and Outrivin(g vbl. n. Cf. also mod. north. and East Anglian Eng. dial. breck, break unenclosed or fallow land which has been broken up for cultivation or other purposes, and OE. bræc, brec ? land left uncultivated among ploughed fields.]

In Orkney and Shetland: Waste land reclaimed as arable; marginal land which has been taken under cultivation; a piece of such land. = Quoyland.Also plur. in sing. sense.To mak (also brek furth) outbrekkis, to reclaim land in this way.For further examples, see Onset(t n.2 1595 Orkney Rentals ii. 2.
Ane quoy land or outbrek is ane peece of land newly win without the dykis, and payis no scatt
(1) 1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 85.
Ane ryg of out braik callit the ryg of the gait
1566 Reg. Great S. 418/2.
Terras suas … cum quylandis et outbrekis earundem
1567 Reg. Privy S. V. ii. 384/2.
Dominium et insulas de Ȝetland cum lie holmis, skerreis, quylandis, outbrekkis
1570 Rec. Earld. Orkney 132. 1576 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 209.
Anent the possessing of gras, outbrekis and balkis
1592 Rec. Earld. Orkney 167.
The complenar allegis … that the outbrek acclamit wes nevir in his possessioun nor yit appertenis to his maling ony way
1593 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek MS. 32.
Of all & haill the said sax pennie land of Air with the … toftis towmalis outbrekis and pertinentis of the samin
1600 Peterkin Notes App. 17, 23.
1615 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bks. 112. 1674 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXII. 183.
[In the nether end of the Balkgrein] being outbrecks [James Ewenson has appropriated 5 feet]
(2) 1536 Kirkwall Chart. 8.
Et cum potestate illis agrum sibi proximum frangiendi, id est, to mak outbrekes on thair awin bakes
1585 Rec. Earld. Orkney 306.
And in speciall the outbrekis that Nicoll Broun … hes brokkin fourth within the boundis of … Bowbrek
1592 (1610) Reg. Great S. 118/1. 1597 Rec. Earld. Orkney 322.
[The pertinents include] power to mak outbrekis, to ryve out corne land and girse and to alter, flit and remufe dyikis
1661 Kirkwall B. Rec. in Kirkwall Chart. 41.

b. Attrib. and comb. (in sing. and plur. forms).(1) 1592 Rec. Earld. Orkney 167.
The haill rendallit land, alsweill infeild as owtfeild, outbrekkis girse as utheris
(2) 1564 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 146.
Vnacum … aliis terris quyland et outbrekland
1592 Rec. Earld. Orkney 167.
The complenar allegis to find the said James … als mekle als guid outbrek landis besid him self
1694 Sc. Hist. Rev. XVII. 30.
That the haill arable lands of the toun as wel lands which were formerly rendalled as outbreck and planked lands should of new be rendalled
(3) 1576 Reg. Privy S. VII. 117/1.
[A pension … from] the said provestis outbrek teindis of the eistersyde in Sanct Petiris parochin … within the ile of Southrannaldsay
1627 Orkney Rentals iii. 85 (see Ol(l)a-teind). 1642 Ib. 14.
Except the outbreck teynd quhilk he holds off the provest of Orkney
1692 Ch. in Orkney 164.
The outbrek teindis of Birsay besowt payit of auld 7 m. cost now led to the barneyard

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"Outbrek n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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