Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BARRA, Barry, n. Gen.Sc. forms of barrow, lit. and fig. [′bɑrə, ′bɑr, ′bɑr, Sc.; ′bɔrə Abd. + ′bɑr] Abd.4 1928:
“Set doon the barra,” stop payment. Said of one who has become bankrupt.
Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 10:
Sae pit that in yer barra an' rowe it.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood xvi.:
“Get up off that barry,” he said sharply.
w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo ix.:
He sent the apprentice boy alang wi' them in a barra.
Dwn. 1911 F. E. Crichton The Soundless Tide 37:
Man, do ye think ye can smash the yard cart, an' no more said than if ye'd couped the barra?

[O.Sc. bar(r)ow, a hand-barrow. Mid.Eng. barewe points to O.E. *bearwe, *barwe. A deriv. of beran, to bear.]

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"Barra n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Jun 2021 <>



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