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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

BROOSE, Bruise, Brouze, Bruze, Breeze, Braize, n. Also brews, broes, braise (Rnf. 1856 Greenock Advertiser (24 June)), bruse (Dmb. 1817 J. Walker Poems 69). 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. A race of any kind, a pell-mell rush. 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'.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 208: 
The bauld brooze o' wasps an' bees.
Lnk. 1768 Caled. Mercury (27 Aug.): 
A wedding at Stinking Stoops, in the Parish of Shots, when several young men, (as is the practice on such occasions) rode for the Brews as they call it.
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.

Deriv. brooser, broeser, a competitor in the race for the broose.Lnk. 1818 A. Fordyce Country Wedding 230: 
Now they are join'd, let the broesers ply. Note: It is deemed a great honour to him who gets first to the bridegroom's house. The cook meets the first at the door with a laddleful of broe, or broth, which he must taste, and leave a shilling in the laddle- hence the name broes.
Lnk. 1884 J. Nicholson Willie Waugh 70: 
Noo, strippit to the breeks the broosers stan', Waitin' the bride to tak' them by the han'.

[From the pl. of Broo, n.1, a bowl of specially seasoned soup being orig. the prize.]

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"Broose n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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