Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BROO, Brew, Brow, n.2 [bru:]

1. The eyebrow; the forehead. Gen.Sc. Also used fig. Cf. Bree, n.3 Sc. 1928 J. Wilson Hamespun 37:
My lugs hing lank, my broos are grey; My teeth my mony years betray.
ne.Sc. 1929 M. W. Simpson Day's End 11:
Wi' starlicht white as a deid haun' laid On the still, black broos o' Nicht!
Edb. 1864 A. Logan Auld Reekie Musings 64:
An' I will deck thy bonnie broo Wi' flow'rs frae aff the lea, Katy.

Hence adj. broo'd in combs., e.g. lily broo'd. m.Sc. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls o' Hame 108:
But braw days are coming wi' lily broo'd Spring.

Phr.: to lat doon a broo, “to show displeasure” (Bnff.2 1936; Abd.7 1925).

2. The crest and/or slope of a hill. Gen.Sc. except Abd. Cf. Brae, n.1 Sh. 1926–1928 Lowrie on Vitamins in Shet. Times:
We coms till a broo.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 69:
It winds through a nick on Glenhichton's broo, The road that leads to the vale o' rest.
Gall. 1930 (per Wgt.3):
He ran doun the broo an' into the hazel wud.

Comb.: broolan', the slope of a hill. Abd. 1900 Abd. Wkly. Free Press (27 Oct.):
She saw you climbin' the broolan'.

3. The overhanging bank of a river (Lnk.3 1936). Dmf. (Upper Annandale) 1933 (per Dmf.8):
They [the fish] come oot aneth the broos fair jowlin.
Uls. 1904 J. W. Byers in Victoria Coll. Mag. 41:
He always takes good care of himself, “He swims near the broo” (bank).
Tyr. 1928 “Mat Mulcaghey” Ballymulcaghey (1929) viii.:
They lifted poor Dimlick out on the brew.

4. A (moss) bank. Sh.(D) 1891 J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 61:
“Weel Boy!” I says, “Foo feels du noo?” Wi dis he linns him on a broo, An rubs his rig.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 53:
Twa' mile she ran afore she bridle drew, An' syn she lean'd her down upon a brow.

5. The brim, top of a vessel. Ant. 1928 The Irish Breeder 18: An ugly-shaped beast is still a gid coo If she fills nine quarts reamin' foo tae the broo.

[O.Sc. brow, brou, Mid.Eng. brow, O.E. brú, pl. bru(w)a (Sweet), meaning orig. eyebrow, then early applied to the eyelashes. Later extended again to eyebrows, then brow, then brow of a hill, etc.]

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"Broo n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 May 2021 <>



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