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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BRATTLE, Brattel, Bratl, Bratli, n. and v. [brɑtl, ′brɑtlɪ̢]

I. n.

1. A loud clattering noise of any kind; “a clattering noise, as that made by the feet of horses, when prancing, or moving rapidly” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); “a peal of thunder” (Kcb.9 1935; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.; Uls.2 1929). Gen.Sc.Sc. 1832 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 339:
Thae commonplace burns . . . that hae . . . nae soorce, but that every wat day contrive to get up a desperate brattle amang the lowse stanes.
Ags. 1892 D. Tasker Pastime Musings iii. 163:
She liftit the sneck, wi' a brattle like thunder, The door it flew open.
Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet x.:
'Mang Hallowfair's wild noisy brattle, Thou'st foughten mony a weary battle.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 61:
In he goes wi' a brattle, crying how is a' here the day?
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc. 209:
They had not been long out, when their ears were filled with the brattle of a horse, at his best pace.

2. A short race, hurry; a sudden bound. Known to Bnff.2 1935.Sc. 1716 Ramsay Chr. Kirke ii. iv. in Poems (1721):
Bauld Bess flew till him wi' a Brattle.
Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 60:
Better the nag that ambles a' day than him that maks a brattle for a mile, and then's dune wi' the road.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 91:
Now by the time, that they their piece had ta'en, A' in a brattle to the gate they're gane.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Auld Farmer's Salutation x:
The sma', droot-rumpl't [Cent. ed. droop-], hunter cattle, Might aiblins waur't thee for a brattle; But sax Scotch mile, thou try't their mettle, An' gart them whaizle.

3. “A fight” (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Gloss.); a noisy onset. Also fig.wm.Sc. [1835–1837] Laird of Logan (1868) 422:
[He] had also got his bit brattel over.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Winter Night (Cent. ed.) iii.:
I thought me on the ourie cattle, Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle O' winter war.

4. “Spell of bad weather; wind with rain or sleet, mostly of short duration; a sudden, hard blast with some rain; squall of wind” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), bratl, brattle, bratli; Bnff.2 1935). Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 19:
But as the teugh saugh that gie's way tae the blast, Its stature regains when the brattle is past.

II. v.

1. “To make a clashing or clattering noise” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff.2, Abd.19, Lnk.3 1935), often used of a noisy stream (Slg.3, Kcb.1 1935); “to make a confused and harsh noise” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.2; Kcb.9 1935).Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Flights of Fancy 217:
Tho' bitter rain or blindin' drift Without may blash and brattle.
e.Lth. 1905 J. Lumsden Edb. and Country Croonings 72:
Esk . . . brattlin' ower stay an' rocky stone.
Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems II. 13:
Within a brattlin' brawlin' town.
Rnf. 1846 W. Finlay Poems 63:
The pure stream brattling down its side.
Ayr. 1896 J. Lamb Annals Ayrsh. Par. 77:
The thunder brattled wi' eerie thud.

2. “To advance rapidly, making a noise with the feet” (Sc. 1808 Jam.).wm.Sc. 1835–1837 Laird of Logan I. 276:
Up streets and doun streets, dunting and jingling we brattled like mad.
Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 60:
Nor waited he to curse or ban, But aff did brattle.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 213:
In fright, to his neebours he brattl'd wi' speed.

[O.Sc. brat(t)ill, brattle, n., a rattle or clatter; a sharp assault, v., to rattle or clatter. Imitative (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Brattle n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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