brei, noun

Forms:
bray, breyShow more Also bray, brey, bry.
Origin:
See brei verb2.
A guttural ‘r’ in speech (as in French), common especially in the Malmesbury district of the Western Cape.
Note:
The normal South African English pronunciation is /breɪ/; /bʁeɪ/ is used in imitation of the sound made by those who brei.
1957 L.G. Green Beyond City Lights 166People of the Western Province wheat belt have an unmistakeable bry, a rolling of the letter ‘r’...I am told that this bry is a Huguenot legacy.
1963 M. Kavanagh We Merry Peasants 14I suspected an over-emphasized ‘Kaapse bry,’ the rolling ‘r’ that distinguishes a Cape Afrikaner from those of the other provinces...‘You don’t have to get Trrrransvaal’ guinea fowl...’ (There was the bry again!)
1970 F. Philip Informant, JohannesburgThe smous had a ‘brei.., a rolling mixture of Yiddish and Afrikaans.
1971 Personality 11 June 43Smuts, for all his immense gifts, would have been another loser. His face was somewhat expressionless and he spoke with a harsh, grating Malmesbury bray.
1979 Capetonian May 9The official languages will be Afrikaans, English and Xhosa. All school-children will..be compelled to take at least two years of Swartland bry, gammatjietaal and Namaqualand singsong.
1983 Sunday Times 18 Sept. (Mag. Sect.) 32She has a soft Boland brei that becomes comically pronounced when she expresses alarm.
1990 R. Malan My Traitor’s Heart 25Ben’s speech was haunted by the brei — a roll of the r that harked back to French, a language unspoken in South Africa for almost two centuries.
A guttural ‘r’ in speech (as in French), common especially in the Malmesbury district of the Western Cape.
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

19571990