Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
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BROO, Breu, Broe, Brue, Brü, n.1 Also ‡brae (m.Sc. 1975). Cf. Bree, n.1 [bru: Sc.; brø: I.Sc., m.Sc., s.Sc., but see P.L.D. § 35]
1. Soup, gravy, the liquid in which any kind of food has been boiled. Known to Fif.1, Lnk.3 1936.Sc. 1722 Ramsay Three Bonnets 28:
Beef, and Broe, and Gryce, and Geese.Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Sc. Proverbs 5:
Fry stanes wi' butter, and the broe will be gude.Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 111:
Ill flesh ne'er made gude broo.Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 15:
“‘Dey maun drink da brü, 'at canna better dü,' as dey say in a auld said wird, an' he's a true ane,” said Girzzie.Ork.(D) 1904 Dennison Orcad. Sk. 13:
De wife he ca'd a coolter neb poured a sap o' soor keel breu doon on his heed an' shuthers.Ags.(D) 1922 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden xiv.:
Oot cam' Bettie skirlin' that the deevil had come doon her chumley, an' was makin' chicken broo o' her cock canary.Ayr. publ. 1803 Burns We're a' noddin (Cent. ed.) vi.:
Cats like milk, And dogs like broo; Lads like lasses weel, And lasses lads too. In phr.: i' the broo, in trouble; cf. Eng. slang in the soup.Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Poems 38:
My pot boils sky-blue, there's nae ane i' the broo.
Comb. brae-souker, a nickname for a native of Renton in Dumbartonshire (Dmb. 1969), said to be so-called because in the 1880's the Renton football team was reputed to have been outstandingly successful on a diet of "chicken-brae", a name given to an alcoholic concoction supplied by a local publican and supporter. See jeely-eater s.v. Jeelie 2. (3).
2. (See first quot.)Inv. 1813 E. Grant Memoirs Highland Lady (ed. Lady Strachey 1928) xi.:
Beef broo — the fat skimmings of the broth pot.wm.Sc. [1835–1837] Laird of Logan (1868) App. 488; Kcb.3 1929:
Ye sall get brue out o' the lee side o' the pat, a proverbial phrase for a promised favour, alluding to the skimming of the fat brue from the calm side of the pot.
3. Liquid or moisture of any kind, esp. snaw-broo, snow-; “half [or wholly] -melted snow” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn., snow-). Known to Ags.1, Lnk.3 1936.Fif. c.1895 (per Fif.1):
Aye, the water'll no' fish the day; there's ower muckle snaw-broo comin' doon.Hdg. 1896 J. Lumsden Battle of Dunbar, etc. 12:
Wi' snawy thows, and jumly broo Of melted ice, and slush, and rain.Ayr. 1787 Burns Brigs o' Ayr (Cent. ed.) l. 160:
A' ye douce folk I've borne aboon the broo.
In phrs.: (1) aboon-broe, “above water. It is said of those who can hardly keep themselves from sinking in the horrific pool of misery, that they can barely keep themselves aboon-broe” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 1); (2) broo o' maut, whisky (Bnff.2, Abd.19 1936).[O.Sc. bro, brue, broo, broth, liquid, n.Mid.Eng. bro (D.O.S.T.); prob. from O.Fr. breu, soup (Godefroy), It. brodo, id., prob. of Gmc. origin.]
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"Broo n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Mar 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/broo_n1>