1 also brickly: Brittle; crisp. [OED2 brickle adj. 2 c1225→; “Obs. or Eng. regional (north.)”; EDD brickle adj.] chiefly Sth, Midl See Map
1804 (2005) NE Univ. Jrls. Lewis & Clark Exped. Online 9 Nov (Internet) VA,This Timber is tall and heavy Containing an imence quantity of water Brickle & Soft 〈fine〉 food for Horses to winter. 1808 Bingham Child’s Companion 74 NEng, Improprieties in Pronunciation, common among the people of New-England. . . [say:] brittle [not:] brickle. 1837 Sherwood Gaz. GA 69, Brickly, for brittle. 1888 Century Illustr. Mag. 36.777 seTN, Two ur three boys ’t I seed hed got sich a scorchin’ . . ’t [=their hair] was swinged clear down ter the roots, an’ that brickly ’t nigh ’n’ about ever’ laist smidgen on it wus breshed off tell their heads wus positive naked. 1890 DN 1.70 LA, Brickle, brickly: brittle. Both brickle and brickly are somewhat common among settlers of English lineage. 1893 Shands MS Speech 21, Brickle and Brickly. . . Used mostly by negroes and illiterate whites, meaning brittle, easily broken. 1899 (1912) Green VA Folk-Speech, Brickly. . . Easily broken; brittle. Brickle. 1902 DN 2.230 sIL, Brickle. 1909 DN 3.393 nwAR, Brickle. . . Brittle. 1913 Kephart Highlanders 278 sAppalachians, Most hillsmen say . . brickle (brittle). 1927 AmSp 2.349 WV, Brickle. 1942 McAtee Dial. Grant Co. IN 16 (as of 1890s), Brickle . . brittle. 1943 Chase Jack Tales 65 wNC (as of 1880s), Jack never noticed when he set his foot on a brickly snag. Put all his weight on that rotten limb, and hit broke. 1953 Randolph–Wilson Down in Holler 230 Ozarks, Brickle. . . Brittle, crisp. “If cowcumber pickles ain’t brickle, they ain’t fit to eat.” 1965–70 DARE (Qu. KK24, Something that breaks easily) 22 Infs, chiefly S Midl, Brickle; 11 Infs, chiefly Sth, S Midl, Brickly. 1967 Key Tobacco Vocab. MO, Brickly—Brittle. My tobacco’s too brickly to handle; NC, Brickly—too dry; TN, Brickly is the brittle condition in the field; KY, Brickly. 1969 DARE FW Addit seKY, Cabbage buried in the ground over winter stays “brickle as pie crust”; csKY, The cutting and bundling were done at night when the corn leaves and stalks were dew-covered since they were “too brickle” to handle during the day. 1981 Broaddus Coll. ceKY, Brickle—crisp, as cucumbers. 2005 Williams Gratitude 482 wNC (as of 1940s), Brickle: brittle.
2 Esp of weather: uncertain, changeable. [Engl dial; see OED2 brickle adj. 4, and EDD, which does not distinguish this sense, but quotes “It’s feaful brickle weather” from wYorkshire.] esp PA
[1870 Amer. Educ. Mth. 7.331 sePA, The good housekeeper . . no matter how brittle (variable) the weather, was always a stirring and work-brittle person.] 1872 Schele de Vere Americanisms 586 sePA, We have had brickle weather of late. 1882 Steubenville Weekly Herald (OH) 14 July /6 (newspaperarchive.com), Our farmers complain of brickle harvest weather, it being impossible to get hay sufficiently cured. 1921 Monmouth Daily Atlas (IL) 30 June 10/1, We are having a spell of what the early pioneers used to call “Brickle weather.” I have not heard any body use that word “brickle” since my father . . used it in describing showery, changeable weather. 1930 Shoemaker 1300 Words cPA Mts (as of c1900), Brickle—Changeable, uncertain. “Maids is brickle.” 1935 AmSp 10.172 PA [Engl of PA Germans], Other terms more rarely used include the following: . . Brickle for changeable or uncertain.
3 See quot. Cf work-brittle adj 1
1902 DN 2.230 sIL, Brickle. . . industrious; ambitious.