See also: Birch

English Edit

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Birch trees Betula pendula (1)

Etymology Edit

PIE word

From Middle English birche, birk, from Old English birċe, bierċe, from Proto-West Germanic *birkijā, from Proto-Germanic *birkijǭ, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerHǵos.

Pronunciation Edit

Noun Edit

birch (countable and uncountable, plural birches)

  1. Any of various trees of the genus Betula, native to countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
  2. A hard wood taken from the birch tree, typically used to make furniture.
  3. A stick, rod or bundle of twigs made from birch wood, used for punishment.
    Synonyms: makepeace, switch
  4. A birch-bark canoe.

Derived terms Edit

Translations Edit

Verb Edit

birch (third-person singular simple present birches, present participle birching, simple past and past participle birched)

  1. To punish with a stick, bundle of twigs, or rod made of birch wood.
  2. To punish as though one were using a stick, bundle of twigs, or rod made of birch wood.
    • 1902, M. M. Read, “The Midnight Feast”, in The Boy's Own Annual, volume 25, page 63:
      That the morrow would see us arraigned 'fore the Head
      And probably birched with a willow
    • 2012, Charles J. Esdaile, Outpost of Empire: The Napoleonic Occupation of Andalucia, 1810–1812, page 319:
      [] and was tied to a tree and soundly birched with a bundle of furze
    • 2013, Hugh Thomas, Conquest: Cortes, Montezuma, and the Fall of Old Mexico, page 292:
      The Mexica were always washing, in water obtained through the aqueduct, or in the lake, and would often go to the popular baths in the numerous stone steam houses (where birching, with grasses, or massage was also available).

Derived terms Edit

Translations Edit

References Edit

Middle English Edit

Noun Edit


  1. Alternative form of birche