from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Scots Birch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A birch tree.
  • n. A small European minnow (Leuciscus phoxinus).
  • n. Alternative spelling of berk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A birch tree.
  • n. A small European minnow (Leuciscus phoxinus).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To give a tart answer; converse in a sharp and cutting way.
  • n. Northern English and Scotch form of birch.


Middle English birk, from Old English birce; see birch.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • A lovely Scottish strathspey called "The Birks of Invermay" was published in William Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius in 1733. The charming melody honors Invermay House and Estate on the northern edge of the Ochil Hills of central Perth and Kinross.

    The tune will always be associated with the tragic story of 26 year-old Captain Willie Leslie, the son of the Earl of Leven and of one of Scotland's great military families, who was killed on 3 January 1777 at the Battle of Princeton, during the American Revolution.

    Leslie was buried in Pluckemin, NJ by Generals Mifflin and Washington with full military honors. The gravestone was erected after the war by his American family friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush. Rush said that upon learning of his friend's death he wept for the first time at a victory of his own side over British troops.

    May 24, 2010