One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
adjectiveIrish English, English Regional, Scottish, Northern
1Liable to fail or falter; weak, frail; uncertain, precarious.
2Of a physical object or substance: hard but liable to break easily; brittle.
Old English (in an earlier sense). From an ablaut variant (zero-grade) of the Germanic base of break + the Germanic base of -le. A by-form with i-mutation is shown by Old English brycel.
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