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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GINGEBREID, n. Also -breed, -bread; †-brace, -bras (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.), ginch-; ginsh- (Sc. 1825 Abd. Censor 155), †ginsbread (Gsw. 1793 R. Gray Poems 72). Gingerbread. Often used attrib., either as simple attrib., obj. attrib., or fig. as an adj. = showy, gaudy, extravagant; delicate, unsubstantial (with ref. to the fanciful shapes and gilding of the cakes in former days). Gen.Sc., obsol. [′dʒɪnʒbrid, ′dʒɪnʃ-]Sc. 1707 Edb. Gazette (6–16 Dec.):
Fine Honney, and Fine Ginge Bread at any Quantity.
Sc. 1772 Scots Mag. (May 1934) 147:
Here's ginge-bread, confections and tablets.
Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems, Gl.:
Gie's nane o' your gingebread airs, let's have none of your pride, foolery or saucy behaviour.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 115:
The bairnies mind the gingebread pouch; Wha o' you first wins there?
Rxb. 1811 A. Scott Poems 97:
But Nell to me was sweeter, I declare, Than a' the stands o' gingebread i' the fair.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds xxi.:
The last sweetheart I had was a gingebread faring and I eat it.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 62:
It's a gey gueede-leukin' bit hoosie he's biggin; bit it's unco ginchbrehd kyne.
Rnf. 1877 J. M. Neilson Poems 38:
Janet's safe till ye gang back, man: Hae ye sic a ginge-breed wife?
Fif. 1887 “S. Tytler” Logie Town I. xv.:
I bocht it wi' ane o' my ain bawbees, an' she bocht a pair o' gingebread sheers.
Ags. 1893 F. Mackenzie Cruisie Sk. xvii.:
What! Yon piece o' pented gingebread? I'll br'ak the bissom ower her back gin ye bring her here.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 73:
There were fishwives with . . . “yellow haddocks”, and “dulse an' tangles”; others would be selling “ginge breed”.

[O.Sc. has ging(e)breid, from a.1578, ginsbread, 1681; Mid.Eng. gingebreed, O.Fr. gingembras, ginger conserve in the form of a paste, gingimbrat, preserved ginger, Med.Lat. gingi(m)brat-um, from gingiber, ginger. The ending, through similarity in sound, was early confused with the word bread.]

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"Gingebreid n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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