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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.

BROWST, BROUST, Broost, Breust, n. Also brewst (n.Sc. 1840 D. Sage Mem. Domest. (1889) 176, Ags. 1958 C. Gibson Highl. Deer Stalker 114). [brʌust, brust (less common) Sc., but Sh. + brøst]

1. A brewing (1) of malt liquors; (2) of other concoctions such as tea, toddy, fruit wines, etc.; or the quantity brewed at one time. Also used fig. and in proverbial sayings. Gen.Sc.(1) Sc. 1703 Account Bk. Sir J. Foulis (S.H.S. 1894) (15 Dec.):
This is the 3rd broust of the new malt.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 289:
Stay, and drink of your browst. — Take a Share of the Mischief you have occasioned.
Sh.(D) 1886 “G. Temple” Britta 158:
The gudeman's special charge is the superintendence of the breust for the “Yule bottle,” when ale spiced with heather tops is selected as the festival drink.
Abd.(D) 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 48:
Jock pulled the cock (spigot) out of the “bowie” to pree the “browst,” which spouted out with such a force that he could not get his mouth near it.
Ags. 1707 Charters, Writs, etc. of Dundee (ed. W. Hay 1880) 159:
Appoints the drum to goe through the toune discharging all Breuars to vend or sell any ale till first they enter the same with Conveener Whyte and he survey the broust.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 27:
For a' had borne a fearsome browst O' raging wind and weather.
(2) Sh. 1926–1928 J.G. Lowrie on Mort Caalds an' Silage in Shet. Times:
I made a broost o tay till her afore I cam furt.
wm.Sc. [1835–1837] Laird of Logan (1868) 373:
[She] rang the bell, commissioning materials for a fresh browst.

2. The drinking of liquor brewed, esp. to excess, hence often = booze.Sh. 1902 J. J. H. Burgess Some Shet. Folk 120:
They seized with avidity . . . on they every possible occasion that could be made a feasible excuse for having what they called a “browst.”

3. “A heavy or hearty meal” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Ib.:
Ee canna be boss efter sic a browst!

4. Phr.: a browst o' a craiter, an excessively talkative person.Bnff.2 1936:
She's an aafa browst o' a craiter; fa wid min' her?

[From brow-, ablaut variant of brēowan, to brew. The origin of the suff. -st is not clear; brouster appears first in comb. Brousterland, 1366, brouster itself 1377–1384 and broust 1511–1512 (D.O.S.T.). Perhaps browst is a back formation from Browster, below. Broost is due to the influence of brew.]

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"Browst n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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