Origin of brier1
- the white heath, Erica arborea, of France and Corsica, the woody root of which is used for making tobacco pipes.
- a pipe made of brierroot.
Origin of brier2
- (chiefly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) a term used to refer to a rustic or hillbilly, especially one from Appalachia.
Origin of brier3
Examples from the Web for brier
Democrats want to be thrown in that brier patch—it might be their best chance to win the midterms.The Absurd Impeachment Feedback Loop
July 28, 2014
As soon as they had gone out of my hearing I emerged from the brier thicket.Biography of a Slave
Trudy was keen as a brier whenever her own realm was threatened.The Gorgeous Girl
It is your right,” said his daughter, quietly; “the Brier Brook swales were yours.A Young Man in a Hurry
Robert W. Chambers
It must be lovely there, and the change will make you as keen as a brier for business.The Golden House
Charles Dudley Warner
Hidden by brier and eglantine, they are fast losing all traces of cultivation.Sylvie: souvenirs du Valois
Grard de Nerval
- any of various thorny shrubs or other plants, such as the sweetbrier and greenbrier
- a variant spelling of briar 1
Word Origin and History for brier
"thorny shrub, heath," 1540s, variant of Middle English brere, from Old English brer (Anglian), brær (West Saxon) "brier, bramble, prickly bush," of unknown origin. Briar is the most recent variant (c.1600). Originally used of prickly, thorny bushes in general, now mostly restricted to wild rose bushes. Used figuratively (in plural) for "troubles" from c.1500.
type of tobacco pipe introduced to England c.1859 and made from the root of a certain shrub, 1868, from French bruyère "heath plant," from Old French bruiere "heather, briar, heathland, moor" (12c.), from Gallo-Romance *brucaria, from *brucus "heather," from Gaulish (cf. Breton brug "heath," Old Irish froech). Form altered in English by influence of brier (n.1).