Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BREE, n.3 See Broo, n.2, 1. [bri:]

1. The eyebrow, in phr. to move neither ee (eye) nor bree, to remain absolutely motionless. n.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
“Ee nor bree,” is still a proverbial phrase. “He moved neither ee nor bree ony mair than he had been dead.”
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 67:
Now they conclude, that here their truff maun be, An' lay stane still, not mooving eye nor bree.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas, etc. 32:
[I'll] ne'er move e'e nor bree' [sic].

2. The brow, forehead (Fif.1 1935). Sc. after 1715 White Cockade in Jacobite Minstrelsy (1829) 111:
But aye the thing that blinds my e'e Is the white cockade aboon the bree.
Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Underwoods 127:
An' whiles the bluid spangs to my bree, To lie sae saft, to live sae free.
Sc. 1930 J. G. Horne in Glasgow Herald (4 Feb.) 8/9:
Reid as the tod an' shaggëd to the bree, Bauchlt an' barefit, deil-ma-care an' free.
Per. a.1860 W. Wilson in Harp of Perthsh. (ed. Ford 1893) 164:
Wi' bonnet sae vaunty, an' owerlay sae clean, An' ribbon that waved 'boon his bree.
Ayr. 1845 J. Cameron in Ayrshire Wreath (ed. R. Crawford) 138:
A bonnie Ayrshire lassie's bree.

[O.Sc. bre, bree, brie, an eyebrow (D.O.S.T.), O.N. brā, eye-lid, O.E. (Anglian) brēg, West Saxon brw, brēaw, brēag, eye-lid (Sweet), whence Mid.Eng. brēu (Stratmann). Cogn. O.H.Ger. brâwa, brâa, brâ, eye-lash. See N.E.D. s.v. bree, n.1 Cf. Breers.]

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"Bree n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 May 2021 <>



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