PREVALENT in both traditional and contemporary literature, braw has sustained popular appeal for several centuries.
Early usage of the word in literature can be traced to 1615, in A Chronicle of The Kings of Scotland (“cumlie yowth of braw statour”). Initially referring to an impressive physical appearance, the word has latterly become an umbrella term for a compliment of someone’s appearance or character (eg. “you’ve a braw suit on”). This Scotsman headline from an article published in 2006 gives a good indication of the broader meaning it has taken on.
Although less frequently heard in day-to-day conversation, braw remains widely known and understood among the majority of Scots - a recent poll listed braw among one of Scotland’s best-loved words.