Etymology
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heather (n.)

early 14c., hathir, from Old English *hæddre, Scottish or northern England dialect name for Calluna vulgaris, probably altered by heath, but real connection to that word is unlikely [Liberman, OED]. Perhaps originally Celtic. As a fem. proper name little used in U.S. before 1935, but a top-15 name for girls born there 1971-1989.

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brier (n.2)

type of tobacco pipe introduced to England c. 1859 and made from the root of a certain shrub (Erica arborea) in the south of France and Corsica, 1868, from French bruyère "heath plant," from Old French bruiere "heather, briar, heathland, moor" (12c.), from Gallo-Roman *brucaria, from Late Latin brucus "heather," from Gaulish *bruko- (compare Breton brug "heath," Welsh brwg, Old Irish froech). The form was altered in English by influence of brier (n.1).

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heath (n.)

Old English hæð "untilled land, tract of wasteland," especially flat, shrubby, desolate land;" earlier "heather, plants and shrubs found on heaths," influenced by cognate Old Norse heiðr "heath, moor," both from Proto-Germanic *haithiz (source also of Old Saxon hetha, Old High German heida "heather," Dutch heide "heath," Gothic haiþi "field"), from PIE *kaito "forest, uncultivated land" (source also of Old Irish ciad, Welsh coed, Breton coet "wood, forest").

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brush (n.2)

"shrubbery, small trees and shrubs of a wood; branches of trees lopped off," mid-14c., from Anglo-French bruce "brushwood," Old North French broche, Old French broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Modern French brosse), from Gallo-Roman *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (n.1).

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brusque (adj.)

in older use also brusk, "abrupt in manner, rude," 1650s, from French brusque "lively, fierce," from Italian adjective brusco "sharp, tart, rough," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscum "butcher's broom plant," from Late Latin brucus "heather," from Gaulish *bruko- (compare Breton brug "heath," Old Irish froech). Related: Brusquely; brusqueness.

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