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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.

BRANDER, Branner, Brainder, n. [′brɑn(d)ər, ′brendər]

1. A gridiron; “an open girdle for oat-cakes, with ribs, not a disc” (Cai.8 1934). Gen.Sc. Obs. in Eng., except in north. dial. (N.E.D.).Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 257:
Then freshest Fish shall on the Brander Bleez, And lend the bisy Browster-wife a Heez.
Inv. 1722 Ltr.-Bk. Bailie John Steuart (ed. Mackay 1915) 176:
Pleas buy for my wife ane iron spit and brander.
ne.Sc. 1992 Sheila Douglas ed. The Sang's the Thing: Voices from Lowland Scotland 257:
These things were aa deen withoot a seicond's thocht, ye know, the breid wis bakit - oatmeal oatcakes; that's fit they caaed breid - it wis bakit on a girdle over the fire and roasted on the branner.
Abd. 1993:
E branner wis used for bakin in e aal days.
Abd. 1923 J. R. Imray Village Roupie, etc. 5:
First cam' some auld dishes wi' hunners o' cracks, An ayld timmer ladle, a boxie o' tacks, A girdle, a branner, a toaster, some mats.
Ags. 1712 in A. Jervise Land of the Lindsays (1853) App. 342:
Tuo brainders, a dropping pan.
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 36:
She boiled them, fried them in oatmeal, roasted them on the brander, dished them up as kippers, as bufters, as bloaters, shredded them into hairy potatoes; producing variety out of monotony.
Wgt., Dmf. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
branner a grid for cooking bannocks, or salt herrings.
Slk. 1818 Hogg Hunt of Eildon iv. in Brownie of Bodsbeck ii. 311:
May Saint Abernego be my shield, gin I didna think I fand my ears birstling on a brander!

Comb.: brander-bannock, “a thick oat-cake, baked on the gridiron. This is also simply called a bannock” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2; Bnff.4 1925).Ags.(D) 1884 Brechin Advertiser (19 Sept.) 3/4:
By an' by the guidwife made her appearance wi' a gallant trencher weel heapit up wi' brander bannocks an' whangs o' cheese.

2. Cross-bar or framework in any kind of structure; the wooden slatting or grounding for laths or plasterboard in a wall, counterlathing (Sc. 1952 Builder (20 June) 942). (See quots.)Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 12:
Branders, furnace bars.
Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
Brander, frame, framework; support for scaffolding as trestles, etc.; also the scaffolding surrounding a building.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Brander, one of the two long pieces of wood on which the bottom-trees of a bed rest, de branders o' de bed; cross-bar between two chair-legs.
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Bränder, a cross rail in a framed structure, such as the level rail in a wooden partition.
n.Sc. 1840 D. Sage Mem. Domest. (1889) 169:
A tradition among the people about the castle . . . was, that it stood upon a "brander of oak." This meant I suppose, that . . . the castle was founded upon oaken piles driven deep into the ground.
Fif. 1862 St Andrews Gaz. (21 Nov.):
From the wide space between the upright branders, and the too softness of the top cope-stones, these will be apt to be wrenched away by ship's fenders during the violent run of the tide.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Brander, an iron frame or other structure for protecting the foot of a bridge-pier from heavy river-borne articles.

3. “The grated iron placed over the entrance of a drain or common sewer” (Abd., Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; Abd. 1980s; Rxb. 2000s). Gen.Sc.Bnff. 1987:
The brander's overflowin.
Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sketches x.:
The rain began to fall about six o'clock — a steady “on-ding” . . . fully intent upon choking the gaping branders.
Ags. 1912 A. Reid Forfar Worthies iii.:
A burnie . . . ran from a brander, doun its western side.

Comb.: brander-glet, “slimy ooze of or from a drain-pipe” (w.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). See also Glet.

4. A riddle, coarse sieve.Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Book of the Farm III. 1126:
The mode of operation of the brander is, that while the earth partly passes through it, and is partly placed aside by it, the potatoes are wholly laid aside.

5. A barred frame in a jacquard loom which rises and falls alternately and catches the needles controlling the harness threads as required (see quot.). Fif. 1844 P. Chalmers Dunfermline 359:
These needles, placed horizontally, act upon the upright wires, bent downwards a little at the top, so as to be caught by the horizontal bars of what is called a brander, from its similarity to that utensil, in its upward motion.

[O.Sc. brander, brand(e)ir, n., a gridiron, an iron or wooden structure resembling a gridiron, used also as a v. D.O.S.T. regards it as a reduced form of brandreth, brandrie, id., from O.N. brandreið, a grate. Cf., however, Mid.Eng. brandyr, brandire, brand, and mod.Eng. dial. brandiron.]

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"Brander n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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