Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BROOSE, Bruise, Brouze, Bruze, Breeze, Braize, n. A race at country weddings from the church or the bride's home to the bridegroom's, “freq. to an outstretched handkerchief held by the bride and best-maid: the prize usually being a handkerchief” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). The reward might also take the form of a ribbon, a drink of ale or whisky, a dish of kail (n.Eng.) or of brose. Gen. in phrs. to ride the broose, to rin (run) —, to win —. Known to Ags.1, Lnk.3 (for Lth.) 1936, braize. [bru:z Sc.; brø:z I.Sc., sn.Sc., m.Sc. + bre:z; bri:z (Abd.2); bre:z (Lnk.3, rare)] Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf vii.:
It wad divert ye to be at the bridal on Monday. There will be a hundred strapping Elliots to ride the brouze.
Sc. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 549–550:
This man . . . when running the “bruze” at a wedding, not only distanced his competitors, but outstripped a person mounted on a hunting horse.
Abd. 1900 A. F. Moir in Scots Mag. (March 1934) 442:
Marriages were also great occasions in the Strath . . . at some period of the day, there was the “riding of the broose,” a race on horseback when mounts were available, otherwise on foot. To “win the broose” was a great distinction, often talked about afterwards in the winter evenings.
Abd.2 1936:
He who “wan the breeze” returned with a bottle of whisky, treating all by the way.
Ags. 1818 Edb. Mag. and Lit. Misc. (Nov.) 412:
The company, upon leaving the kirk, take the road to the bridegroom's; if any are upon horseback, they start for what is called riding the broose, that is, a race who shall first arrive at his door.
wm.Sc. 1835–1837 Laird of Logan II. 253:
It'll no be my fau't gin ye getna an opportunity of riding the broose at my waddin'.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Auld Farmer's Salutation ix.:
At Brooses thou had ne'er a fellow, For pith an' speed.
Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 192:
Davie Scott o' the Ramsey-cleuch burn, amid the bay of dogs, and the shouts of men and women, got first to the bride-groom's door, and of course was acknowledged to have won the broose.

Used fig., “to strive, to contend in whatever way” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Sc. 1788 R. Galloway Poems 156:
To think to ride or rin the bruise Wi' them ye name, I'm sure my haltin, feckless muse Wad be to blame.

[Origin uncertain. It has been derived from O.Fr. brouetz, broth, through the O.Sc. browis, brewis. The irreg. variant of these in O.Sc., viz. bruis(e), might be the ancestor of the mod. bruise [brø:z], braize [bre:z] and breeze [bri:z], implying an O.E. tense ō, or Fr. u. O.Sc. has, however, also brous, brus(se), variants of brusche, a violent rush or impact; brous could give rise to Mod.Sc. broose and its meaning would correspond admirably to the fundamental idea in all the quots.]

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"Broose n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2021 <>



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