Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BREEM, Breme, n.1 ne.Sc. forms of St.Eng. broom, the shrub Cytisus (or Sarothamnus) scoparius. Cf. Brume. [brim] Abd.(D) 1920 G. P. Dunbar Guff o' Peat Reek 23:
I thackit rucks an' hooses tee wi' heather, strae, or breem.

Hence breemie, adj., covered with broom. Bnff. 1929 “Sub Divo” in Abd. Press and Jnl. (18 Sept.) 6/5:
A breemie loan's a lyther tryst, like thon by Backie's park, Wi' twa — forbye the meen — an' Benachie.

Phr.: to sing the breem (Abd.15 1937 in Abd. Press and Jnl. (5 Jan.)) = to sing the broom, see Broom, n., 1.

Combs.: (1) breem bus', breme-buss, (a) a broom bush (Bnff.2 1935); (b) fig.: a simpleton; (2) breem-cow(e), a branch of broom (Bnff.2 1935). See Cow; (3) breem deevil, “an implement for rooting up broom” (Bnff.2 1935); (4) breem-reet, in phr., haud in breem-reet, “i.e. hold on firmly like a broom root” (Mry. 1914 R. Cairns in T.S.D.C. I.); (5) breem-thack'd, covered or thatched with broom (Bnff.2 1935). (1) (a) Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. xiii.:
It's as fac's A'm here see, if A hadna gotten a grip o' the breem bus' on the bank, A'd 'av' been intae the watter head foremost.
(b) Abd. 1868 G. Macdonald R. Falconer II. xxi.:
I wantit to ken whether I was sic a breme-buss as I used to be.
(2) Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 363–364:
She can . . . mak' a horse o' a breem-cow or humlock-shaw.
Abd. 1932 D. Campbell Bamboozled 25:
She'll bleeze up like a breem-cowe eence she tummles tae the ploy.
(3) Abd.(D) 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 128:
Our suite of bedroom furniture consisted of . . . tramp picks, . . . graips, a “breem deevil,” and other articles.
(4) Abd.13 1914:
I once heard this at Gight Games. The tug of war was in operation when one of the spectators cried out “Haud in breem-reet.”
(5) Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 90:
An' thro' the breem-thack'd reef, in troth, The rain show'rs like a water bath.

[O.Sc. brume, brome, breum, the broom plant (D.O.S.T.); Mid.Eng. brome, O.E. brōm, id. Cogn. are Du. brem and Low Ger. braam.]

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"Breem n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2020 <>



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