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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BREARD, BRAIRD, Breer, Breird, Breether, n. and v. Also brier[bri:r(d), bre:rd Sc.; ′bri:ðər Cai.]

1. n.

(1) The first shoots or sprouting of grain, turnips, etc. Also used fig., as of a child. Adj. brairdie, covered with sprouting vegetation. Gen.Sc. The form braird, orig. Sc., has now been accepted as St.Eng.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 328:
There is no Breard like Midding Breard.
Sc. 1757 R. Maxwell Pract. Husbandman 147:
Grass-seeds are to be sown along with Barley or Oats and among the Brier of the Wheat.
Sc. 1988 Scotsman 11 Jun 11:
Because the soil surface has not been disturbed, as in hoeing, it is longer before a further braird of weed seedlings takes place.
Sc. 1991 Sunday Post 21 Apr :
But overall, the braird - Scots for germination - isn't bad considering the awful weather.
Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 96:
Dis is what we git efter a green winter! . . . Kens doo 'at da breer apo da breest o' wir toon wis da sam as hit been skooder'd i' da fire.
Cai.(D) 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 5; Cai.7 1935:
'Ey thocht'at mebbe she'd geen t' ca' 'e rockies [wild sheep] aff 'e growan' breether.
Abd. 1844 W. Thom Rhymes and Recoll. 72:
The tremblin' breird fa's sodden an' sear'd.
Clc. 1850 J. Crawford Doric Lays 54:
Stourie, stoussie, gaudie brierie!
Lnl. 1864 J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe, etc. 53:
On the birk comes the leaf at the glad cuckoo cry, And green braird to upland and hollow.
Cld. 1825 Jam.2:
That callan is a fine braird of a man.
Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 147:
Whan I met ye on the brairdie hill.

†(2) pl. “The short flax recovered from the first tow, by a second hackling” (Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. breards). See also Backings.Sc. 1733 P. Lindsay Interest of Scotland 161:
Dressing and stapling the Lint . . . into fine drest Flax, fine drest Tow, common Tow, Backings, and Breards.
Sc. 1804 Edin. Ev. Courant (1 Sept.) 1:
For sale at Leith, A Large Quantity of White and Blue Breards, fit for Spinning Yarn, 4 to 6 lb. per Spindle.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 42:
To spin guid brairds for harn, Or teeze an' caird the creeshy woo'.
Hdg. 1883 J. Martine Reminisc. of Old Haddington 337:
Lint brairds and tow were extensively sold by town and country merchants.

2. v. To sprout above ground, to germinate. Also used fig. Gen.Sc. Also ppl.adj. and vbl.n.Sc. 1724 Treatise on Fallowing 39:
'Tis no Matter, tho' the Corn be briered two Inches high.
Sc. 1879 C. A. Cameron Agric. Chemistry in Cassell Tech. Educ. I. 299:
It sometimes happens that overdoses of lime are applied. In such cases . . . the plants may braird satisfactorily, but they will hardly produce seeds, and . . . perish about June.
L.Bnff.(D) 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 21:
There's a bonny howe I ken o' Far the corn is breerin' green.
ne.Sc. 1991 Alastair Mackie in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 68:
Spring that gies me a scunner, I've this
to say to ye; turnin some street corner
aa o a sudden I get stobbed thro wi the dirks
o your weird-like breerin.
Abd. 1845 P. Still Cottar's Sunday 190:
Pease an' beans begin to brier.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 2:
The swackenin yird's
Wi brierin spears o green pierced throwe.
Ags.1 1931:
That barley has breerd fine.
Fif. 1946:
Used metaphorically of a baby's first teeth: "It's his teeth brearan."
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 75:
Alane, it breirds in benmaist chaumer
o the mind.
The seedlin thocht airts ti the licht ti
fin its soul.
Bwk. 1935 H. Fraser in Border Mag. (Jan.) 10:
The haars and “drappin' shooers” that “slockened the neeps” or brairded the corn.
wm.Sc. 1988 Scotsman 9 Apr 5:
I also put markers near the nests in the cornfields so that I could find them easily after the corn had brairded, ...
Lnk. 1895 W. Stewart Lilts and Larks frae Larkie 4:
In ilka clud o' grief an care A siller blink wad braird.
vbl.n. brairding.Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Bk. Farm III. 764:
Old dung is crumbled along the bottom of these to ensure the brairding of the seed on so poor a soil as sand generally is.

Comb.: brairded-dykes, “fences bearded with whins, thorns, or other brushwood, to hinder cattle from getting over them” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 89). [Prob. so named from the protruding thorns.]

[O.Sc. brerd, breird, braird, n., the surface (of the earth); the first shoots of grain; v., to sprout, shoot (D.O.S.T.). Prob. from O.E. bre(o)rd and Mid.Eng. brerd, rim or border, same as O.E. breord, breard, brerd, a point, first blade of grass, young plant, O.N. broddr, a spike, brydda, to show the point. The short ends or points of the flax, etc., account for meaning (2). The Cai. breether is prob. Norse in origin.]

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"Breard n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Apr 2024 <>



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