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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

BREED, BRAID, Breid, Bried, Breedth, Breeth, n.1 Sc. forms of St.Eng. breadth. Gen.Sc. [brid, bre:d, briθ, bridθ]Sc. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan II. xii.:
Gin I get a crimson velvet pelisse I should take care to put another bread in't.
Cai.(D) 1934 “Caithness Forum” in John o' Groat Jnl. (19 Jan.):
Faigs, A mak' nae mein if . . . ye get twa-three feet breedth for Hornag.
Bnff.9 c.1927:
Foo mony breeths are ye pittin in yer kweyt?
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xliii.:
I winna flench a hair's breid for nedder man nor 'oman.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 22:
She has a gown aught breeds aroun'.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xii.:
But I could scarcely keep from laughing when I . . . saw a glazed queue hanging for half an ell down the braid of my back.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 40:
Did not I packshon wi' you for the bried o' my mither's back and the length o' her carkage?

Phrases: 1. I' the braid (breed) o' one's face, to the breeth —, to one's face, in the face; 2. on the braid o' one's back, flat on one's back, to get the breeth o' one's back, to fall flat on one's back.1. Abd.1 1929:
Ca'd him a leear to the breeth o's face.
Ags. 1827 Montrose Review (20 July) 299/1:
Ane o' his coat tauld anither ane ae day i' the Presbytery i' the braid o' his face.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin (1868) xiv.:
I tane special guid care no to glower him i' the breed o' the face.
2. Bch. 1929 (per Abd.1):
She'll get the breeth o' her back yet for a' she's sae heich heidit (i.e. she will be laid low).
Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) vi.:
An' he cam' lick doon on the braid o' his back i' the gutter.
Uls.(D) 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings by Robin 36:
There he wuz, lyin' on the braid o' his back, the ould soo was lickin' his face an' gruntin'.

Comb.: braid-back, a throw on the back.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 16:
He's got braid-back o' the road.

[O.Sc. brede, breid, breed, braid, breadth (D.O.S.T.); Mid.Eng. brede, O.E. brǣdu, idem. The forms with final -th are late.]

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"Breed n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Oct 2022 <>



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