Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BERRY, BERRI(E), BARRIE, v. To thresh corn or thrash a person, esp. a child. [′bɑrɪ w. and sm.Sc.; ′bɛr Kcb., Dmf., Rxb.; ′bærɪ Sh. and s.Sc.] Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
Berri, to thrash corn, to b[erri] de corn.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 49:
Barried. Thrashed; as with a flail.
Kcb. 1815  J. Gerrond Poems 81:
The barnman's up now by day light, And berries on till ten at night.
Rxb. 1825  Jam.2:
To berry a bairn, to beat a child. To thrash corn.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B. 54:
Berry. †(1) To beat [a bairn]. (2) ‡To thresh (corn).
w.Dmf. 1899  J. Shaw Country Schoolmaster 344:
Berry, to thrash corn, or man, or child. In the Galloway poem of Aiken Drum, the Brownie says — I'll berry your crops by the light of the moon. vbl.n. berrying, a thrashing.
Kcb. 1929 3 :
People still say “If I catch you I'll gie ye a guid berrying.” They would not say “I'll berry you.”

ppl.adj. barried, “stiff and sore as after a day's thrashing” (Sc. 1887 Jam.6 s.v. bar).

[O.N. berja, to beat. The vowel in barrie may be from Bar, v.1, to flail.]

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"Berry v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Oct 2019 <>



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