Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BREARD, BRAIRD, Breer, Breird, Breether, n. and v. [bri:r(d), bre:rd Sc.; ′bri:ðər Cai.]

1. n.

(1) The first shoots or sprouting of grain, turnips, etc. Also used fig. Gen.Sc. The form braird, orig. Sc., has now been accepted as St.Eng. Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 328:
There is no Breard like Midding Breard.
Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 96:
Dis is what we git efter a green winter! . . . Kens doo 'at da breer apo da breest o' wir toon wis da sam as hit been skooder'd i' da fire.
Cai.(D) 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 5; Cai.7 1935:
'Ey thocht'at mebbe she'd geen t' ca' 'e rockies [wild sheep] aff 'e growan' breether.
Abd. 1844 W. Thom Rhymes and Recoll. 72:
The tremblin' breird fa's sodden an' sear'd.
Lnl. 1864 J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe, etc. 53:
On the birk comes the leaf at the glad cuckoo cry, And green braird to upland and hollow.
Clydes. 1825 Jam.2:
That callan is a fine braird of a man.

†(2) pl. “The short flax recovered from the first tow, by a second hackling” (Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. breards). See also Backings. Sc. 1733 P. Lindsay Interest of Scotland 161:
Dressing and stapling the Lint . . . into fine drest Flax, fine drest Tow, common Tow, Backings, and Breards.
Sc. 1804 Edin. Ev. Courant (1 Sept.) 1:
For sale at Leith, A Large Quantity of White and Blue Breards, fit for Spinning Yarn, 4 to 6 lb. per Spindle.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 42:
To spin guid brairds for harn, Or teeze an' caird the creeshy woo'.
Hdg. 1883 J. Martine Reminisc. of Old Haddington 337:
Lint brairds and tow were extensively sold by town and country merchants.

2. v. To sprout above ground, to germinate. Also used fig. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1879 C. A. Cameron Agric. Chemistry in Cassell Tech. Educ. I. 299:
It sometimes happens that overdoses of lime are applied. In such cases . . . the plants may braird satisfactorily, but they will hardly produce seeds, and . . . perish about June.
L.Bnff.(D) 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 21:
There's a bonny howe I ken o' Far the corn is breerin' green.
Ags.1 1931:
That barley has breerd fine.
Bwk. 1935 H. Fraser in Border Mag. (Jan.) 10:
The haars and “drappin' shooers” that “slockened the neeps” or brairded the corn.
Lnk. 1895 W. Stewart Lilts and Larks frae Larkie 4:
In ilka clud o' grief an care A siller blink wad braird. vbl.n. brairding.
Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Bk. Farm III. 764:
Old dung is crumbled along the bottom of these to ensure the brairding of the seed on so poor a soil as sand generally is.

Comb.: brairded-dykes, “fences bearded with whins, thorns, or other brushwood, to hinder cattle from getting over them” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 89). [Prob. so named from the protruding thorns.]

[O.Sc. brerd, breird, braird, n., the surface (of the earth); the first shoots of grain; v., to sprout, shoot (D.O.S.T.). Prob. from O.E. bre(o)rd and Mid.Eng. brerd, rim or border, same as O.E. breord, breard, brerd, a point, first blade of grass, young plant, O.N. broddr, a spike, brydda, to show the point. The short ends or points of the flax, etc., account for meaning (2). The Cai. breether is prob. Norse in origin.]

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"Breard n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Oct 2021 <>



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