Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BIRKIE, Birky, n.3 In phr. as bare as birkie, — birky (dim. forms), expressive of absolute bareness. Cf. Birk, n.1, 5. Wgt. 1880  G. Fraser Lowland Lore 159:
As bare as birkie.
Dmf. 1908  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (2nd ed.) 15–16:
[It had] fower waa's . . . as bare as birkie, except for a map of Scotland and a picter o' an elephant.
Uls. 1923  J. Logan Ulster in the X-rays (2nd ed.) vii.:
I hae come through the femine o', 48, an' was left as bare as birky.

[Birkie may be a dim. of Birk, n.1, q.v., or a variant of Birken, n., with some contamination from Birkie, n.1]

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"Birkie n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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