House-sweepings, as fluff, dust, ashes, and so on, thrown as
refuse into the dust-bin. We generally limit the meaning now to small
ashes and cinders used for coals in burning bricks. The word is a
corruption of the French, débris (rubbish, or rather the part
broken or rubbed off by wear, tear, and stress of weather). The French, braise, older form brese, means small coke or charcoal.
The gad-fly; so called from its sting. (Anglo-Saxon, briose;
Gothic, bry, a sting.)
A gentle wind or gale. (French, brise, a breeze.)
Figuratively, a slight quarrel.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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