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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.

BRUCKLE, Brickle, Brukkle, Bruckl, Brukkel, adj., v. and n. Also pruckle[brʌkl, brɪkl, prʌkl]

1. adj. Gen.Sc.

(1) Lit. Brittle, easily broken; crumbling.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 113:
Glasses and Lasses are bruckle Wares, — Both apt to fall, and both ruined by falling.
Sc. 1995 James S. Adam New Verses for an Auld Sang 25:
Sae lads an lassies gin ye'd speak for us,
juist heist ye back as lang's ye mind wha's boss
an uise yer hairns tae spare yer bruckle banes,
or busk ye weill tae weir aff stottan stanes.
Per. 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Scots 17:
The rits abüne a dead man's breist Hae brak the bruckle lire apairt.
Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Fife and Kinross 47:
The Rock is plaistered over with a white bruckle Crust, of the same Colour, Consistence and Nature with the Shell of an Egg.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 112:
He'rts like thine are no' sae bruckle — Ither's gowd shall busk thee braw.
Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet i.:
All hail! thou ancient, tottering, bruckle biggin, Thou mouldie mass o' timmer, lime, and stane.
Gsw. 1832–1846 W. Miller in Whistle-Binkie (2nd Series) 73:
And gae wa' wi' your lang slides, I beg, John Frost! Bairns' banes are as bruckle's an egg, John Frost.
Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
That's bruckle ware ye'r carryin.
Uls. 1991:
On the subject of Scottish words, I heard an old one last Sat. at our (residents') Xmas lunch. One man described the toast as being too "pruckle" to put butter on. I had not heard the word since my teenager days. "Brittle" would be the English word.
Uls. 1993:
My mother used "bruckle" rhyming with knuckle. The word meant crumbly, applied to baking.

(2) Fig.

(a) Uncertain, unstable; applied also to health (Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.)). Hence bruckle(e)ness, n.Sc. 1700 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 39, 108:
I am much affected to hear that the state of your health is soe bruckle. . . . My father's brucklness in his health.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii.:
And that's what vexes me mair than a' the rest, when I think how I am to fend for you now in thae brickle times.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 27:
" ... Yer awfu rage is ill tae waste
On sic as me, sae waff an bruckle. ... "

(b) Applied to the weather, changeable, unsettled.Ags. 1786 ? C. Keith Har'st Rig (1794) 5:
And weather aft does bruckle gang As we hae ken'd it.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 40:
The Duke had him a visit paid, Ev'n in right bruckle weather.

2. v.

(1) “To crumble, to break small” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl. s.v. bruckl).Sh.(D) 1918 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. I. 168:
Don't bruckle dem aa in smaa bits.

(2) “To crush, to crumple” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.).Sh.(D) 1898 “Junda” Echoes from Klingrahool 8:
I wis faerd at du hurtet di peerie croon; Or brukkled da mesterpen o di wing Whan du raise again wi sikkan a spring.
Sh.(D) 1919 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. II. 113:
Get in, Mary, an bruckle desell doon yonder.

3. n.

(1) “A state of disintegration” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.).

(2) “An interruption, or unsatisfactory ending, to a project or enterprise” (Ib.).Ib.:
I kent at de wid come a brukkel intil it.

[O.Sc. brukill, bruckle, easily broken, brittle; unstable, n.Mid.Eng. brukel, early Mid.Eng. bruckle, O.E. brucol (in combs. as scip-brucol, causing shipwreck), from bruc-, ablaut variant of brecan, to break. Brickle is a parallel form. See P.L.D. § 60.1.]

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"Bruckle adj., v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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