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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.

BRANGLE, v. and n. [brɑŋl]

I. v.

1. To shake, lit. and fig.; to confuse, to tangle. Now obs. in Eng.Sc. 1701–1731 R. Wodrow Analecta (Maitland Club 1842) II. 147:
Mr Blair was seldom deserted in preaching, and almost never brangled as to his assurance.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
Brangle. Only heard it in pr.p. branglan. To struggle confusedly, wriggle, twist; used, e.g., of a horse entangled in its tether.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson The Wyse-Sayin's o' Solomon xxix. 1:
Wha hears the repruif he weel deserves, But hauds on his ain gate dourer than afore, Wull be brangl't to flinders whan he's nane expeckin't.
Arg. 1782 Caled Mercury (13 May):
Three ribs of ore, each of them four inches solid, besides small strings and brangled ore intermixed.

2. To fight, squabble. Obs. or arch. in Eng.Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 166:
Baith squadrons brangl'd owr the fell Till doup o' e'en.

Hence (1) brangled, branglin', ppl.adj., confused, quarrelling, squabbling; (2) brangler, n., a quarrelsome, wrangling person; (3) branglin', vbl.n., wrangle, dispute.(1) Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Underwoods 126:
To hear in the pit-mirk on hie The brangled collieshangie flie.
ne.Sc. a.1835 J. Grant Tales of Sc. Glens (1836) 66:
Oh, ye see, there was five or sax branglin' north countra farmers met at the ale in a public house.
(2) Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xxviii.:
Drawn into a quarrel by a rude brangler.
(3) Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 29:
The surest tokens o' declension, Hingin' owr a state or nation, Are base, foul branglin's, an' contention, An' greedy feuds.

II. n. Shaking, disturbance; “a tangle, confusion” (Wgt. 1898 E.D.D.). Cf. Braingel.Sc. 1707 First Earl of Cromartie in Earls of Crm. (ed. Fraser 1876) II. 47:
The Earl of Weems came to see me, and told that 20 ministers had told him that I was on a plott to move for a toleration in the Brittish Parliament. This gave the first brangle to my new wish for it.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 29:
An' strunge intestine brangles bore Them to decay.

Hence branglement, confusion, disturbance.Sc. 1826 Hogg in Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 181:
A blithe young shepherd fed his flocks, Unused to branglement or din.

[O.Sc.brangil, brangle, to shake, to brandish, to throw into confusion, to brawl (D.O.S.T.). Phonetic variant of E.M.E. branle, to toss about, perhaps in v. 2 influenced by wrangle and brawl. Fr. branler, to shake, through O.Fr. brandeler, from brandir, to tremble.]

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



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