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briar1

[brahy-er] /ˈbraɪ ər/
noun
1.
brier1 .
Related forms
briary, adjective

briar2

[brahy-er] /ˈbraɪ ər/
noun
1.
brier2 .

briar3

[brahy-er] /ˈbraɪ ər/
noun, Usually Disparaging.
1.
brier3 .

brier3

[brahy-er] /ˈbraɪ ər/
noun, Usually Disparaging.
1.
(chiefly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) a term used to refer to a rustic or hillbilly, especially one from Appalachia.
Also, briar.
Origin
shortening of brier hopper
Usage note
This term is usually used with disparaging intent to refer to those white people who migrated north and west from Southern Appalachia throughout the first half of the 20th century. These migrants, mostly from eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, were looking for jobs in southeastern Ohio and other places. Brier has negative connotations similar to words such as hillbilly and redneck. But brier has also been used as a term of self-reference by the migrants themselves and their descendants. It is a shortened form of brier hopper/brierhopper (also spelled briar hopper/briarhopper), probably a reference to the brier bushes found in Southern Appalachia.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for briars
  • He noticed that she was wearing a new cotton dress, which seemed to have been snagged in a few places by briars.
  • Infection commonly occurs when the skin is broken while handling plant materials such as rosebushes, briars, or mulch-rich dirt.
  • The shrub layer is often dense and is composed of tree saplings, beaked hazelnut, and various briars.
  • The dead trees in the picture are now full of blackberry briars.
  • They continued the chase and eventually caught him after he had fallen into a patch of briars.
  • Fence rows should be allowed to grow up into briars and weeds to provide safe travel corridors.
  • Weeds and briars underneath the trees provide shelter and food for many different birds.
  • They cleared briars and stinging nettles and planted the first bed with hostas and ferns.
British Dictionary definitions for briars

briar1

/ˈbraɪə/
noun
1.
Also called tree heath. an ericaceous shrub, Erica arborea, of S Europe, having a hard woody root (briarroot)
2.
a tobacco pipe made from the root of this plant
Derived Forms
briary, briery, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French bruyère heath, from Late Latin brūcus, of Gaulish origin

briar2

/ˈbraɪə/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of brier1

brier1

/ˈbraɪə/
noun
1.
any of various thorny shrubs or other plants, such as the sweetbrier and greenbrier
Derived Forms
briery, briary, adjective
Word Origin
Old English brēr, brǣr, of obscure origin

brier2

/ˈbraɪə/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of briar1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for briars

briar

n.

see brier (n.1).

brier

n.

"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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for briars

briar

noun

A file or hacksaw (1830s+ Underworld)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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briars in the Bible

This word occurs frequently, and is the translation of several different terms. (1.) Micah 7:4, it denotes a species of thorn shrub used for hedges. In Prov. 15:19 the word is rendered "thorn" (Heb. _hedek_, "stinging"), supposed by some to be what is called the "apple of Sodom" (q.v.). (2.) Ezek. 28:24, _sallon'_, properly a "prickle," such as is found on the shoots of the palm tree. (3.) Isa. 55:13, probably simply a thorny bush. Some, following the Vulgate Version, regard it as the "nettle." (4.) Isa. 5:6; 7:23-25, etc., frequently used to denote thorny shrubs in general. In 10:17; 27:4, it means troublesome men. (5.) In Heb. 6:8 the Greek word (tribolos) so rendered means "three-pronged," and denotes the land caltrop, a low throny shrub resembling in its spikes the military "crow-foot." Comp. Matt. 7:16, "thistle."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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8
9
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