briar

There are two distinct words briar in English, both of which can also be spelled brier, and as their meanings are fairly similar, they are often confused. The older [OE] is a name given to the wild rose, although in fact this usage is as recent as the 16th century, and in Old English times the word was used generally for any prickly bush, including particularly the bramble. The Old English form was brēr, but it is not known where this came from. The other briar, ‘wild heather’ [19], is the one whose root is used for making briar pipes. The word comes from French bruyère, and was spelled bruyer when first introduced into English in the third quarter of the 19th century; the current spelling is due to assimilation to the other briar. The French form comes from Gallo-Roman *brūcaria, a derivative of *brūcus, which was borrowed from Gaulish brūko. It appears to be related to the Greek word for ‘heather’, ereikē, from which English gets the technical botanical term ericaceous [19].

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Briar — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Briar (Arkansas) Briar (Missouri) Briar (Texas) Briar Bluff (Illinois) Briar Creek (Pennsylvania) Briar Hill (Alabama) Briar Manor (New Jersey) Briar Park (Delaware) Briar Thicket (Tennessee) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Briar — Briar, TX U.S. Census Designated Place in Texas Population (2000): 5350 Housing Units (2000): 2105 Land area (2000): 20.572656 sq. miles (53.282933 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 20.572656 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Briar, TX — U.S. Census Designated Place in Texas Population (2000): 5350 Housing Units (2000): 2105 Land area (2000): 20.572656 sq. miles (53.282933 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 20.572656 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • briar — briar, brier Both spellings are used of two distinct words, meaning respectively a prickly bush and a type of wood (or a pipe made from it). The preferred spelling for both words is briar …   Modern English usage

  • Briar — Bri ar, n. Same as {Brier}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Briar — Briar, Fluß im nordamerikanischen Unionsstaate Georgia; fällt in den Savannah; an demselben 1779 Sieg der Briten über die Amerikaner …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • briar — see BRIER (Cf. brier) …   Etymology dictionary

  • briar — (also brier) ► NOUN ▪ a prickly scrambling shrub, especially a wild rose. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • briar — briar1 [brī′ər] n. BRIER1 briary adj. briar2 [brī′ər] n. 1. a tobacco pipe made from the root of BRIER2 (sense 1) 2. occas. sp. of BRIER2 (senses 1 & 2) …   English World dictionary

  • briar — UK [ˈbraɪə(r)] / US [ˈbraɪr] noun Word forms briar : singular briar plural briars or briar 1) [countable/uncountable] a bush with thorns (= sharp points) on its branches 2) [countable] a pipe for smoking tobacco, made from briar 3)… …   English dictionary

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