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Has anyone ever come across ?brook (not too sure about spelling) used instead of burp?

I brooked/I burped.

Was that you brooking/burping?

It may be derived from Scottish Gaelic.

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2 Answers

Scots Gaelic does use bruchd for "burp". The word may have entered Scots dialectal English as "brook"; I've not come across it (but I'm not Scottish).

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yaMFAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=belch&f=false

Patrick Macfarlane's English/Gaelic dictionary

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The OED has ruck, ruct and but are obsolete and rare, with quotations from 16th to 17th century.

Nall's Glossary of East Anglian Dialect (1866) includes:

Broak, Brock. To belch. Gael., bruchd; Fris. and Dut., brake.

This is interesting, it gives variants from Celtic and Germanic languages, although they could each be independently imitative of the sound and unrelated.

English verb, brook

One of the OED definitions of the verb brook is:

To make use of (food); in later usage, to digest, retain, or bear on the stomach.

It has quotations from c950, to 1598's:

So fatte that men can hardlie brooke them.

Other definitions include being able to endure something (i.e. to stomach it), or to find something agreeable.

According to etymonline.com, the verb comes from:

"to endure," O.E. brucan "use, enjoy, possess; eat; cohabit with," from P.Gmc. *bruk- "to make use of, enjoy" (cf. O.S. brukan, O.Fris. bruka, O.H.G. bruhhan, Ger. brauchen "to use," Goth. brukjan), from PIE root *bhrug- "to make use of, have enjoyment of" (cf. L. fructus). Sense of "use" applied to food led to "be able to digest," and by 16c. to "tolerate."

English noun, brook

The noun brook means a small stream, but originally meant a torrent or strong flowing stream.

Gaelic bruchd

Dwelly's Classic Scottish Gaelic Dictionary (first published 1901-1911) includes:

  • bruchd: Sudden rushing forth, as of a multitude, sally, any sudden burst or disruption. 2 Belch. 3 Heap, large quantity, glut. 4 Bulge. 5 Rift
  • brùchd-ruadhain: Belching from an overloaded stomach.
  • rudhain: Brùchd rudhain, the acid return from the stomach.

This is most likely the source of the term you heard.

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