Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

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.
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.

(2) Fig.

(a) Uncertain, unstable; applied also to health (Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.)) 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.

(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 20 Jan 2019 <>



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