Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BREEKUMS, Breekum, Breekims, n. [′brikʌm(z), ′brikɪmz]

1. In pl. Short or scanty trousers; knee breeches (occasionally in sing. in this sense). Known to Abd.9 1935. Ags. 1880  J. E. Watt Poet. Sk. of Sc. Life and Char. 17;
1 :
His breekums were short by amaist a han'-breed.
Per. a.1843  J. Stewart Sketches (1857) 178:
The hame-spun breekum and the wyliecoat For me had mair attractive pleasantness.
Fif. 1935 10 :
C'wa an' pit on your bit breekums. Hurry noo!
Edb. 1856  J. Ballantine Poems 65:
Although the breekums on thy bodie Are e'en right raggit.

2. In sing. or pl. “A person of short stature” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 16); “an endearing name for a little boy” (Bnff.2 1935), cf. Breeklums. Bch. 1930  (per Abd.15):
Wee breekims is a gey man, isna he?

3. Combs.: ‡(1) breekum-foogie, “one wearing short or ragged trousers” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Add.); †(2) breekumstoich, “a short thick child in breeches” (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict. Sc. Lang.).

[See etym. note to Breek, n.1, and for ending -um cf. Nickum.]

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"Breekums n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <>



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