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

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About this entry:
First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Brere, Breir, n. Also: brer, breer. [e.m.E. and ME. breer(e, brere, OE. brér, brǽr.]

1. A briar; esp. a briar-bush. Also fig.(a) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2488.
So the hole oure-coverit was With thornes, breres, and with gras
1461 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 362.
The forsaide landys … with wodis, … hader, breris [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 320/23.
Throw mure & mos, throw banke, busk, & brer
Id. Orph. 455.
Oure desyre … Quhen it is tederit on this warldis breris
a1500 Seven S. 1797.
Than war thai blyth as bird on brere
c1500 Fyve Bestes 52.
Take the way of buskis, thorne, & brere
1513 Doug. iii. ix. 13.
Hys tawbart and array sewyt with breris
Ib. viii. xi. 10; etc.
Scroggis and breris all with blude bysprent
1531 Bell. Boece I. 143.
The Romanis wer … irkit with scharpe and difficill passage, full of breris and thornis
Id. Livy I. 26/11.
This refuge was … hedgit with thik breris on euery side
(b) 1535 Stewart 2765.
In craig and cleuche, in mony bus and breir
1549 Compl. 64/26.
The breir byndis me soir
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1086.
Thirsyll, nettyll, breir, and thorne
a1568 Scott ii. 18.
Spurris als scherp as breiris
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxxv. 29.
Thay will be blyth as bird on breir
1621 Black Bk. Taymouth 353.
That na maner of … personnes … cutt no kynd of breir nor thorne but in the waxing of the moone
(c) 15.. Clar. iii. 716.
All to rent on breeris hir sarke beine [= is]
Ib. 986.
Breer and thorne

2. Attrib. with busk. (Cf. e.m.E. brere bushe.) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2537.
The wedder followit him … Quhill that ane breir busk raif rudelie of the skyn

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"Brere n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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