Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BERRY, BERRIE, n.1 As in St.Eng. but note the following:

1. “Currant” (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 191).

2. “The gooseberry” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 54).

3. In pl.

(1) Used to indicate the jam or jelly made from gooseberries, raspberries, cranberries, etc., the first being the most common. Bnff. 1922 Bnffsh. Jnl. (12 Dec.) 2:
Tay in the mornin' an' at nicht, wi' loaf breid an' seerup, or berries o' some kin'.
Abd.19 1934:
Wid ye hae me tak berries ti ma piece an me nae at ma second cup?

(2) Ears of corn. Abd. 1877 W. Alexander North. Rural Life in 18th Cent. xviii.:
He avowed his belief, that the cattle would be “nane the waur o' a wisp wi' a fyou o' the berries on't.”

(3) The berry-gathering. Ags.1 1934:
He's gotten wark at the berries.

4. Phrase: nae (no) the berry, — berrie, not the thing; not to be trusted. Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 217:
To be no the berry, to be of bad character; not trustworthy.
Abd. 1891 J. Ogg Glints i' the Gloamin' 168:
He's nae the berrie.
Abd.4 1931:
“Nae the berry nir yet the bus' 'at it grew on.” Said of a suspicious character. [The expression might naturally arise in a district where “berries” were of importance as a food or a relish (Abd.22).]

5. Combs.: (1) Berry-bug (n.,s.Rxb.), -boag (ne.Rxb.), “an aphis infesting ‘berry-bushes,' shrubs, etc.” (Watson W.-B. (1923) 54).

(2) Berry-buss, -bush, “the gooseberry bush” (Ib.).

(3) Berry -, berri(e)-hedder, “crowberry (Empetrum nigrum)” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., s.v. berrihedder; Sh.4 1934). Sh. 1898 Sh. News (19 Nov.) (E.D.D. Suppl.):
Dey [fish brushes] wir a' made oot o' berrie hedder.
Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 91:
I blew up da bow — a gude ramskin bow shü wis, Tamy, an' da staak weel buskit wi' berry hedder frae be wast Toor-da-Watter.

(4) Berry hen, “a lobster in spawn” (Ags.1 1932).

(5) Berry-making. (See quot.) Abd. 1911 Wkly. Free Press (15 Aug.):
Berry-making. The making of jam of various berries [gooseberry, currant, etc.].

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"Berry n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Jul 2020 <>



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