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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BARLEY-BREE, -BROO, -BROE, n. Malt liquor: whisky. Gen.Sc. [′bɑrlĕ-′bri:, -brø:, -bru:, Sc.]Sc. 1724 Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1762) 360:
But we'll take a soup of the barley-bree.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xx.:
[Peter] reared the flagon to his head from which he withdrew it not while a single drop of “barley-broo” remained.
Bnff.(D) 1918 J. Mitchell Bydand 11:
An' ower a feuch o' bogie an' a skirp o' barley-bree.
e.Lth. 1885 “S. Mucklebackit” Rural Rhymes 66:
But the daft days he minds aye, an' John Barley-bree An' pity his heart rends a drunkard to see.
Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 36:
But I do think 'twas friendship too, Caused him gie me the barley broe.
Rxb. 1868 D. Anderson Musings 26:
And still the spark that's in their throat Can never quenchèd be, Although they try to slocken't out Wi' draps o' barley-bree.

[Barley and O.E. *brēow, brīw. Cf. Ger. brei. See Bree, n.1, Broo, n.1]

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"Barley-bree n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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