Definitions

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

  • n. New England Bread soaked in liquid, usually milk, and eaten as a pudding or as a side dish with meat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a kind of broth thickened with bread or meal

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Broth or pottage.
  • n. Bread soaked in broth, drippings of roast meat, milk, or water and butter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Broth; pottage.
  • n. Bread soaked in broth or the liquor in which beef is being boiled; also, brown bread warmed in milk.

Etymologies

Middle English brewes, from Old French broez, pl. of broet, diminutive of breu, broth, from Vulgar Latin *brodum, of Germanic origin; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French broez, brouez, brouets plural of broet, brouet (French brouet ‘gruel’), from breu, from *brodittum, a diminutive of vulgar Latin *brodum, from Germanic *brod ‘sauce’ (English broth). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I found the poor men on board almost in a tumult to get the victuals out of the boiler before it was ready; but my mate observed his orders, and kept a good guard at the cook-room door, and the man he placed there, after using all possible persuasion to have patience, kept them off by force; however, he caused some biscuit-cakes to be dipped in the pot, and softened with the liquor of the meat, which they called brewis, and gave them every one some to stay their stomachs, and told them it was for their own safety that he was obliged to give them but little at a time.

    The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

  • That is called a brewis, my dear; suppose we give it to our pampered family here some day, and see what they say.

    Hildegarde's Neighbors

  • I have had my first, and I may add my last, experience of "brewis," an indeterminate concoction much in favour as an article of diet on this coast.

    Le Petit Nord or, Annals of a Labrador Harbour

  • Gran scooped the fish and crunchy pork brewis from the iron pan into a large plate and handed it to me.

    Secret of the Night Ponies

  • The youth returned his greeting and, going into the house, brought out two platters, one full of soured milk and the other of brewis swimming in clarified butter; and he set the platter before Kanmakan, saying “Favour us by eating of our victual.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The first Háshim got his name from crumbling bread into the Saríd or brewis of the Meccan pilgrims during “The Ignorance.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Siot, an oatcake soaked in buttermilk, was eaten along with brewis, an oatmeal broth, both very sustaining foods, like porridge or porage, from which evolved today's trend of eating cereal with hot or cold milk.

    At My Table

  • ‘Lizzie to come before me, John; and she can’t stir a pot of brewis, and scarce knows a tongue from a ham, John, and says it makes no difference, because both are good to eat!

    Lorna Doone

  • You will find us all of a piece, and, having been accustomed to eat in saucers abroad, I am ashamed you should witness our larded capons, our mountains of beef, and oceans of brewis, as large as Highland hills and lochs; but you shall see better cheer to-morrow.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • Then made they ready store of carbonadoes, or rashers on the coals, and good fat soups, or brewis with sippets; and the monk drank what he pleased.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

Comments

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  • "Bernard dumps the food on a big baking sheet, which they put on a plank across one of the holds, and they stand in the hold where the catch should have been and with plastic forks start eating toward the center. The dish, called Fisherman's Brewis, is monochromatic, with off-white pork fat and off-white potatoes and occasional darker pieces of salt beef. What stands out is the stark whiteness of the thick flakes of fresh cod. This is the meal they grew up on...."
    —Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (New York: Penguin, 1997), 11

    July 14, 2009

  • Unless I miss my guess, that dish has its roots in Swedish "cuisine!"

    May 7, 2008

  • Usage note on mundle.

    "Brewis, also brews(e), broose, bruis, bruise, bruse. 'Bread soaked in boiling fat pottage made of salted meat.' 1755 'Bread or oatcake soaked in hot water.' See also fish, fish and brewis, fisherman's brewis. Sea biscuit or 'hard tack' soaked in water and then boiled; such a dish cooked with salt cod and fat pork."
    Dictionary of Newfoundland English, 65

    May 6, 2008

  • Bread soaked in liquid and eaten as a pudding or as a side dish.

    November 27, 2007