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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BRANDER, Branner, Brainder, n. [′brɑn(d)ər, ′brendər]

1. A gridiron; “an open girdle for oat-cakes, with ribs, not a disc” (Cai.8 1934). Gen.Sc. Obs. in Eng., except in north. dial. (N.E.D.).Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 257:
Then freshest Fish shall on the Brander Bleez, And lend the bisy Browster-wife a Heez.
Inv. 1722 Ltr.-Bk. Bailie John Steuart (ed. Mackay 1915) 176:
Pleas buy for my wife ane iron spit and brander.
ne.Sc. 1992 Sheila Douglas ed. The Sang's the Thing: Voices from Lowland Scotland 257:
These things were aa deen withoot a seicond's thocht, ye know, the breid wis bakit - oatmeal oatcakes; that's fit they caaed breid - it wis bakit on a girdle over the fire and roasted on the branner.
Abd. 1993:
E branner wis used for bakin in e aal days.
Abd. 1923 J. R. Imray Village Roupie, etc. 5:
First cam' some auld dishes wi' hunners o' cracks, An ayld timmer ladle, a boxie o' tacks, A girdle, a branner, a toaster, some mats.
Ags. 1712 in A. Jervise Land of the Lindsays (1853) App. 342:
Tuo brainders, a dropping pan.
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 36:
She boiled them, fried them in oatmeal, roasted them on the brander, dished them up as kippers, as bufters, as bloaters, shredded them into hairy potatoes; producing variety out of monotony.
Wgt., Dmf. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
branner a grid for cooking bannocks, or salt herrings.
Slk. 1818 Hogg Hunt of Eildon iv. in Brownie of Bodsbeck ii. 311:
May Saint Abernego be my shield, gin I didna think I fand my ears birstling on a brander!

Comb.: brander-bannock, “a thick oat-cake, baked on the gridiron. This is also simply called a bannock” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2; Bnff.4 1925).Ags.(D) 1884 Brechin Advertiser (19 Sept.) 3/4:
By an' by the guidwife made her appearance wi' a gallant trencher weel heapit up wi' brander bannocks an' whangs o' cheese.

2. Cross-bar or framework in any kind of structure; the wooden slatting or grounding for laths or plasterboard in a wall, counterlathing (Sc. 1952 Builder (20 June) 942). (See quots.)Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 12:
Branders, furnace bars.
Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
Brander, frame, framework; support for scaffolding as trestles, etc.; also the scaffolding surrounding a building.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Brander, one of the two long pieces of wood on which the bottom-trees of a bed rest, de branders o' de bed; cross-bar between two chair-legs.
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Bränder, a cross rail in a framed structure, such as the level rail in a wooden partition.
n.Sc. 1840 D. Sage Mem. Domest. (1889) 169:
A tradition among the people about the castle . . . was, that it stood upon a "brander of oak." This meant I suppose, that . . . the castle was founded upon oaken piles driven deep into the ground.
Fif. 1862 St Andrews Gaz. (21 Nov.):
From the wide space between the upright branders, and the too softness of the top cope-stones, these will be apt to be wrenched away by ship's fenders during the violent run of the tide.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Brander, an iron frame or other structure for protecting the foot of a bridge-pier from heavy river-borne articles.

3. “The grated iron placed over the entrance of a drain or common sewer” (Abd., Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; Abd. 1980s; Rxb. 2000s). Gen.Sc.Bnff. 1987:
The brander's overflowin.
Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sketches x.:
The rain began to fall about six o'clock — a steady “on-ding” . . . fully intent upon choking the gaping branders.
Ags. 1912 A. Reid Forfar Worthies iii.:
A burnie . . . ran from a brander, doun its western side.

Comb.: brander-glet, “slimy ooze of or from a drain-pipe” (w.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). See also Glet.

4. A riddle, coarse sieve.Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Book of the Farm III. 1126:
The mode of operation of the brander is, that while the earth partly passes through it, and is partly placed aside by it, the potatoes are wholly laid aside.

5. A barred frame in a jacquard loom which rises and falls alternately and catches the needles controlling the harness threads as required (see quot.). Fif. 1844 P. Chalmers Dunfermline 359:
These needles, placed horizontally, act upon the upright wires, bent downwards a little at the top, so as to be caught by the horizontal bars of what is called a brander, from its similarity to that utensil, in its upward motion.

[O.Sc. brander, brand(e)ir, n., a gridiron, an iron or wooden structure resembling a gridiron, used also as a v. D.O.S.T. regards it as a reduced form of brandreth, brandrie, id., from O.N. brandreið, a grate. Cf., however, Mid.Eng. brandyr, brandire, brand, and mod.Eng. dial. brandiron.]

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"Brander n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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