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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.

BREID, Breed, Bred, n. Sc. forms corr. St.Eng. bread. The form bread is illustrated only where the usage differs from that in Eng. [brid I.Sc., but Sh. + brɛd, n.Sc., em.Sc.(b), wm.Sc., sm.Sc., s.Sc., Ant.; bre1d w.Ags.; bred em.Sc.(a); brɛid, breid Cai.]

Sc. forms:wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 53:
Richt, Ah'm a fule tae masel', it is ma nature -
He'll deprive me o' ma last crust o' breid an' butter
An pit me whaur Ah picked him up, the gutter.
m.Sc. 1992 Iain Banks The Crow Road (1993) 148:
'They pit this green dye in thur petrol, an if yer foun wi that in the tank uv yer motor car, ye get the jile. But if ye pit the petrol through breed, the dye comes oot, an' ye can use the petrol an naebudy kens a thing. It's true.' He sat back 'An that's why we huv green breed in oor hoose, sometimes.'
m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 3:
Ye should caw canny oan the breid, no eat sae much ae it ...
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 287:
And some of the ladies of the town were talking of a subscription, to raise money for her and the bairn.
'They'll no see the seed of the righteous beggin their breid,' said Nicol. 'That's whit they tellt me.'

Sc. usages:

1. A roll or loaf; “the term is still vulgarly used by bakers in this sense” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2, breid, bred). Obs. in St.Eng. since 1643 (N.E.D.).Sc. 1705 Account Bk. Sir J. Foulis (S.H.S. 1894) (13 April):
For a pynt of whyt wine and a bread.

2. Oatcake (Cai.7, Bnff.2 1935).Abd. 1904 W. A. G. Farquhar Fyvie Lintie 23:
Quoth the maiden — “Gin it sets me Bakin' bannocks, scones and breid, Nae ane ever fauts or frets me Ower the heids o' comin' speed.”
Abd.2 1935:
Will ye hae loaf or breid tae yer egg, laddie?
Abd. 1989:
Breid and cheese.
ne.Sc. 1992 Sheila Douglas ed. The Sang's the Thing: Voices from Lowland Scotland 257:
These things were aa deen withoot a seicond's thocht, ye know, the breid wis bakit - oatmeal oatcakes; that's fit they caaed breid - it wis bakit on a girdle over the fire and roasted on the branner.

3. Phrs.: (1) to break one's bread, to deprive one of his livelihood, to get one the sack; (2) out o' bread, in want; out of work. (1)Abd. 1794 Session Papers, Shepherd v. Presb. Garioch (22 May) 3:
As Mrs Shepherd had broken her character, "they would break her husband's bread, and make him walk down the toun with his books upon his back".
 (2)Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xiii.:
It's my notion they were play-actors out o' bread.

4. Combs.: (1) breid and cap, pollen and nectar, honey; (2) bread-and-cheese, (a) “the green shoots just appearing on a hedge in early spring” (Fif.10 1935; Ayr.4 1928; Kcb.1 1935); common also in Eng. dial.; (b) “the inside of the thistle head” (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.2 1935; Ayr.4 1928); (3) breed-backit, -backet, bread box; also fig. = stomach; (4) bread-berry, “bread broken up into small pieces with hot milk poured over it” (Abd. 1935 (per Bnff.12); Fif.10, Lnl.1, Lnk.3, Ayr. 1935 (per Kcb.1)); (5) breed man (see quot.). For man, see Maun, basket; (6) bread-meal, “the flour of pease and barley; because commonly used for making bread. In Clydes. the term denotes meal made of barley; from its being, as would seem, much used for bread” (Clydesd., Rxb. 1825 Jam.2); (7) breid-meat, bread-sops (Rxb. 1975); †(8) bread-morning, “a piece of bread given to the ploughman when he goes to his labour in the morning” (Rxb. Ib.); (9) breid-rower, “rolling pin” (Abd.4 1929); (10) bread-snapper, in slang use: one who eats food without earning it, "a mouth to fill", sc. a child (Sc. c.1880 Partridge Slang Dict. 999);  †(11) bread-spaad, “a sort of spattle, made of iron, somewhat in the shape of a spade, used for turning, or otherwise moving, bread on the girdle” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2); (12) twa breids an' a brose, “oatcakes not properly ‘fired,' the heart being soft between the two sides of the cake” (Abd.4 1933); cf. sense 2 above.(1) Ags. 1879 J. Guthrie Poems 24; Ags.1 1935:
Noo is the time for harryin' droners' bykes . . . They'll delve awa for mony an hoor ye're sure, Till comes at last the precious breid and cap.
(2) (a) Dmf. 1905 S. Arnott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 409:
Many of us will know the flower or leafbuds of the hawthorn as bread-and-cheese.
(3) Bnff.2 1935:
Ay! that fulls up the breed-backet again.
m.Sc. 1926 J. Wilson Cent. Scot. 105:
Az drii's a hwussul — or a breed-backit. As dry as a whistle — or a bread-box.
(4) Fif. 1882 “S. Tytler” Scotch Marriages, Lady Peggy v.:
[She] stood clearly in need of the ale-saps and bread-berry, the white wine, whey possets, and warm drinks for which Peggy . . . furnished abundant materials.
[Berry is a corruption of O.E. brīw, pottage, through loss of stress and metathesis — thus, brey, bery, berry. See Aleberry.](5) Abd. 1894 W. Gregor in Trans. Bch. Field Club III. 146:
The trencher on which the cakes were placed is at times made of wood, and is called “the man” or “the breed man.”
(10)Gsw. 1935 McArthur & Long No Mean City i.:
There'll be nae more bread-snappers if I can help it.
Gsw. 1967 Stephen Mulrine in Moira Burgess and Hamish Whyte Streets of Stone (1985) 131:
Clouds of steam enveloping one male breidsnapper.
Gsw. 1988 Michael Munro The Patter Another Blast 9:
breidsnapper A slang term for a child, emphasising the aspect of a constant necessity to keep it fed: 'That's her wi anither breidsnapper on the way.' This is sometimes shortened to snapper.
Arg. 1991:
Wance the breid-snappers come along ye can forget aboot savin.

Proverb:Abd.7 1925:
“He disna aet the breid o' idleseat” means that one works hard for a livelihood. [Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.2, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1935.]

[O.Sc. brede, breid, braid, breed, bread, (1) bread, (2) loaf or single cake of bread (D.O.S.T.); O.E. brēad, a morsel, crumb, bread (Sweet).]

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"Breid n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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