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    build (v.) — Bunker Hill

    build (v.)

    Middle English bilden, from late Old English byldan "construct a house," verb form of bold "house," from Proto-Germanic *buthla- (source also of Old Saxon bodl, Old Frisian bodel "building, house"), from PIE *bhu- "to dwell," from root*bheue- "to be, exist, grow."ETD build (v.).2

    Rare in Old English; in Middle English it won out over the more common Old English timbran (see timber). The modern spelling is unexplained. Figurative use is from mid-15c. Of physical things other than buildings from late 16c. Related: Builded (archaic); built; building.ETD build (v.).3

    build (n.)

    "style of construction," 1660s, from build (v.). Earlier in this sense was built (1610s). The meaning "physical construction and fitness of a person" is attested by 1981. An earliest sense, now obsolete, was "a building" (early 14c.).ETD build (n.).2

    builder (n.)

    "one who builds, one whose occupation is a builder," especially one who directs works of construction, late 13c., agent noun from build (v.).ETD builder (n.).2

    build-up (n.)

    also buildup, 1927, "accumulation of positive publicity." Of any accumulation (but especially military) from 1943. The verbal phrase is attested from late 14c.; see build (v.) + up (adv.).ETD build-up (n.).2

    built (adj.)

    1560s, "constructed, erected," past-participle adjective from build (v.); for the -t, compare went. The meaning "physically well-developed" is by 1940s (well-built in reference to a woman is from 1871); Built-in (adj.) "constructed as an integral part of a larger unit" is from 1895.ETD built (adj.).2

    bukkake (n.)

    1990s, from Japanese, said to be a noun derived from bukkakeru "to dash or sprinkle (water), thus "a splash."ETD bukkake (n.).2

    bulb (n.)

    1560s, "an onion," from French bulbe (15c.), from Latin bulbus "bulb, bulbous root, onion," from Greek bolbos "plant with round swelling on underground stem." It was extended 1660s to "spherical underground part of an onion, lily, etc." It had expanded by 1800 to "swelling in a glass tube" (thermometer bulb, light bulb, etc.).ETD bulb (n.).2

    bulbous (adj.)

    1570s, "pertaining to a bulb," from Latin bulbosus, from bulbus (see bulb). The meaning "bulb-shaped" is recorded from 1783. Related: Bulbously; bulbousness. Bulbaceous is from 1731.ETD bulbous (adj.).2

    bulge (n.)

    c. 1200, "a wallet, leather bag," from Old French bouge, boulge "wallet, pouch, leather bag," or directly from Latin bulga "leather sack," from PIE *bhelgh- "to swell," extended form of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell." Transferred sense of "a swelling, a rounded protuberance" is recorded by 1620s. Bilge (q.v.) might be a nautical variant. The meaning "bulging part of a military front" is from 1916, hence the World War II Battle of the Bulge (1944).ETD bulge (n.).2

    bulge (v.)

    "to protrude, swell out," 1670s, from bulge (n.). Related: Bulged; bulging.ETD bulge (v.).2

    Bulgar (n.)

    1759, "inhabitant of Bulgaria; member of an ancient Finnich people which settled in what is now Bulgaria" (Bulgarian is attested from 1550s), from Medieval Latin Bulgarus (see Bulgaria).ETD Bulgar (n.).2

    Bulgaria (n.)

    nation in southeastern Europe, Medieval Latin, from Bulgari "Bulgarians," traditionally explained as "the men from the Bolg," the River Volga, upon whose banks they lived until 6c. But evidence is wanting, and the people's name for themselves in Old Bulgarian was Blugarinu, according to OED and Century Dictionary, which suggests a different origin. In other sources [such as Room], the name is said to be ultimately from Turkic bulga "mixed," in reference to the nature of this people of Turko-Finnish extraction but Slavic language.ETD Bulgaria (n.).2

    Bulgarian (n.)

    "native or resident of Bulgaria," 1550s, from Bulgaria + -ian. As an adjective, Bulgaric has been used in the sense "of or pertaining to the ancient Bulgars" and their modern relatives the Mordvins and Cheremissians of the Volga.ETD Bulgarian (n.).2

    bulgur (n.)

    cereal food, 1934, from Turkish bulghur, bulgar.ETD bulgur (n.).2

    bulimic (adj.)

    1854, "voracious;" see bulimia + -ic. The meaning "suffering from bulimia nervosa" is recorded from 1977. The noun in this sense ("person suffering from bulimia nervosa") is from 1980.ETD bulimic (adj.).2

    bulimia (n.)

    "emotional disorder consisting of food-gorging alternating with purging or fasting, accompanied by morbid concern with body weight and shape," 1976, Modern Latin, from Greek boulimia, "ravenous hunger" as a disease, literally "ox-hunger," from bou-, intensive prefix (originally from bous "ox;" from PIE root *gwou- "ox, bull, cow") + limos "hunger," from PIE *leie- "to waste away."ETD bulimia (n.).2

    As a psychological disorder, technically bulemia nervosa. Englished form boulimy, bulimy was used from late 14c. in a medical sense of "morbidly ravishing hunger, disease causing the patient to have an insatiable hunger for food."ETD bulimia (n.).3

    bulk (n.)

    mid-15c., "a heap; the volume or bulk of something," earlier "ship's cargo" (mid-14c.), from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse bulki "a heap; ship's cargo," from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell."ETD bulk (n.).2

    The meaning was extended by early confusion with obsolete bouk "belly" (from Old English buc "body, belly," from Proto-Germanic *bukaz; see bucket), which led to sense of "size, volume, magnitude of material substance," attested from mid-15c. In bulk 1670s, "loaded loose." The meaning "the greater part" (of anything) is by 1711.ETD bulk (n.).3

    bulk (v.)

    "swell, become more massive," 1550s (usually with up), from bulk (n.). Related: Bulked; bulking.ETD bulk (v.).2

    bulkhead (n.)

    "upright partition in the interior of a ship," late 15c., with head (n.); the first element perhaps from bulk "framework projecting in the front of a shop" (1580s), which is perhaps from Old Norse bolkr "a beam, a rafter; a partition" (see balk (n.)).ETD bulkhead (n.).2

    bulky (adj.)

    mid-15c., "plump, stout, of great size," from bulk (n.) + -y (2). Often with a suggestion of "unwieldy, clumsy." Related: Bulkiness.ETD bulky (adj.).2

    bull (n.1)

    "male of a bovine animal," c. 1200, bule, from Old Norse boli "bull, male of the domestic bovine," perhaps also from an Old English *bula, both from Proto-Germanic *bullon- (source also of Middle Dutch bulle, Dutch bul, German Bulle), perhaps from a Germanic verbal stem meaning "to roar," which survives in some German dialects and perhaps in the first element of boulder (q.v.). The other possibility [Watkins] is that the Germanic word is from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell."ETD bull (n.1).2

    An uncastrated male, reared for breeding, as opposed to a bullock or steer. Extended after 1610s to males of other large animals (elephant, alligator, whale, etc.). Stock market sense "one who seeks to cause a rise in the price of a stock" is from 1714 (compare bear (n.)). The meaning "policeman" is attested by 1859.ETD bull (n.1).3

    Bull-necked is from 1640s. Figurative phrase take the bull by the horns "boldly face or grapple with some danger or difficulty" is recorded by 1711 (Swift). To be a bull in a china shop, figurative of careless and inappropriately destructive use of force, is attested from 1812 and was the title of a popular humorous song in 1820s England.ETD bull (n.1).4

    bull (n.2)

    "papal edict, highest authoritative document issued by or in the name of a pope," c. 1300, from Medieval Latin bulla "sealed document" (source of Old French bulle, Italian bulla), originally the word for the seal itself, from Latin bulla "round swelling, knob," said ultimately to be from Gaulish, from PIE *beu-, a root supposed to have formed a large group of words meaning "much, great, many," also words associated with swelling, bumps, and blisters (source also of Lithuanian bulė "buttocks," Middle Dutch puyl "bag," also possibly Latin bucca "cheek").ETD bull (n.2).2

    bull (n.3)

    "insincere, trifling, or deceptive talk," 1914. Popularly associated with roughly contemporary bullshit (n.) in the same sense, and in modern use often felt as a shortened form of it. There seems to have been an identical Middle English word meaning "false talk, fraud," apparently from Old French bole "deception, trick, scheming, intrigue," and perhaps related to modern Icelandic bull "nonsense."ETD bull (n.3).2

    There also was an early Modern English verb bull meaning "to mock, cheat," which dates from 1530s. Bull session is attested from 1920.ETD bull (n.3).3

    Also uncertain is the relationship to the bull that means "a gross inconsistency in language, a ludicrous blunder involving a contradiction in terms" (1630s), said by the English to be characteristic of the Irish, and thus often called an Irish bull. Sydney Smith defined it as "an apparent congruity, and real incongruity of ideas, suddenly discovered." Three examples attributed to Sir Boyle Roche: "Why should we do anything for posterity, for what, in the name of goodness, has posterity done for us?" ... "It would surely be better, Mr. Speaker, to give up not only a part, but, if necessary, even the whole of our Constitution, to preserve the remainder." ... "The best way to avoid danger is to meet it plump."ETD bull (n.3).4

    bull (v.)

    "push through roughly," 1884, from bull (n.1). Related: Bulled; bulling.ETD bull (v.).2

    bulla (n.)

    type of ornament worn by the ancient Romans, especially a protective amulet worn around the neck by children, 1876, from Latin bulla (plural bullae) "round swelling, knob," literally "bubble" (see bull (n.2)).ETD bulla (n.).2

    bull-baiting (n.)

    the activity of setting dogs to attack a bull, 1570s, from bull (n.1) + baiting. The sport itself is at least from early 15c. in England and was long very popular there; it was made illegal in 1835.ETD bull-baiting (n.).2

    bulldog (n.)

    also bull-dog, "small, strong, muscular kind of dog noted for courage and ferocity," c. 1500, from bull (n.1) + dog (n.). So called perhaps from the shape, perhaps because they originally were used for baiting bulls. In U.S. newspaper slang, the bulldog edition (1910) was the earliest run of a daily paper.ETD bulldog (n.).2

    bulldoze (v.)

    by 1880, "intimidate by violence," from an earlier noun, bulldose "a severe beating or lashing" (1876), said by contemporary sources to be literally "a dose fit for a bull," a slang word referring to the intimidation beating of black voters (by either blacks or whites) in the chaotic 1876 presidential election. See bull (n.1) + dose (n.). The bull element in it seems to be connected to that in bull-whip and might be directly from that word. The meaning "use a mechanical ground-clearing caterpillar tractor" is from 1942 (see bulldozer); figurative use in this sense is by 1948. Related: Bulldozed; bulldozing.ETD bulldoze (v.).2

    bulldozer (n.)

    "person who intimidates others by threats or violence," 1876, agent noun from bulldoze (q.v.). The sense was extended to "an engine-powered ground-clearing caterpillar tractor" in 1930.ETD bulldozer (n.).2

    bull-dyke (n.)

    also bulldyke, bull-dike, "lesbian with masculine tendencies," 1926; earlier bulldyker, bulldycker was used for the same, by 1906, where it was said to be Philadelphia slang.ETD bull-dyke (n.).2

    According to "Dictionary of American Slang," a source from 1896 lists dyke as slang for "the vulva," and Farmer and Henley ("Slang and Its Analogues," 1893) has "hedge on the dyke" for "the female pubic hair."ETD bull-dyke (n.).3

    There is also the variant bulldagger (1932) which OED considers to be the headword although spelling bulldyker is attested earlier.ETD bull-dyke (n.).4

    bullet (n.)

    1550s, "cannonball" (a sense now obsolete), from French boulette "cannonball, small ball," diminutive of boule "a ball" (13c.), from Latin bulla "round thing, knob" (see bull (n.2)). The meaning "small ball," specifically a metal projectile meant to be discharged from a firearm, is from 1570s. Earliest version of the figurative phrase bite the bullet "do something difficult or unpleasant after delay or hesitation" is from 1891, probably with a sense of giving someone a soft lead bullet to clench in the teeth during a painful operation.ETD bullet (n.).2

    bullet-headed (adj.)

    1680s, "stupid;" 1722, "having a bullet-shaped head," from bullet (n.) + -headed.ETD bullet-headed (adj.).2

    bullet-hole (n.)

    "hole made by a bullet," 1832, from bullet (n.) + hole (n.).ETD bullet-hole (n.).2

    bulletin (n.)

    1765, "authenticated official report concerning some event, issued for the information of the public," from French bulletin (16c.), modeled on Italian bulletino, diminutive of bulletta "document, voting slip," itself a diminutive of Latin bulla "round object" (see bull (n.2)) with equivalent of Old French -elet (see -let). For use of balls in voting, see ballot (n.).ETD bulletin (n.).2

    The word was used earlier in English in the Italian form (mid-17c.). It was popularized by the use of bulletin in the Napoleonic Wars as the name for dispatches sent from the front and meant for the home public (which led to the proverbial expression as false as a bulletin). The broadcast news sense of "any brief, notice or public announcement of news" is from 1925. Bulletin board "public board on which news and notices are posted" is from 1831; computer sense is from 1979.ETD bulletin (n.).3

    bullet-proof (adj.)

    also bulletproof, "capable of resisting the impact of a bullet," 1816, from bullet (n.) + proof (n.).ETD bullet-proof (adj.).2

    bull-fight (n.)

    also bullfight, "combat between a man and a bull," especially as a popular entertainment in Spain, 1753, from bull (n.1) + fight (n.). Related: Bull-fighter; bull-fighting.ETD bull-fight (n.).2

    bullfinch (n.)

    common oscine passerine bird of Europe, 1560s, from bull (n.1) + finch; supposedly so called for the shape of its head and neck or its bill; compare French bouvreuil.ETD bullfinch (n.).2

    bullfrog (n.)

    also bull-frog, large North American species of frog, 1738, from bull (n.1) + frog (n.1). So called for its loud voice.ETD bullfrog (n.).2

    bull-headed (adj.)

    also bullheaded, "obstinate," 1818, from bull (n.1) + -headed.ETD bull-headed (adj.).2

    bull-horn (n.)

    also bullhorn "megaphone," 1951, from bull (n.1) + horn (n.).ETD bull-horn (n.).2

    bully (n.)

    1530s, "sweetheart," a term of endearment applied to either sex, of uncertain origin; perhaps from Dutch boel "lover; brother," which probably is a diminutive of Middle Dutch broeder "brother" (compare Middle High German buole "brother," source of German Buhle "lover;" see brother (n.)).ETD bully (n.).2

    The meaning deteriorated 17c. through "fine fellow" and "blusterer" to "harasser of the weak" (1680s, from bully-ruffian, 1650s). Perhaps this was by influence of bull (n.1), but a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" might be "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of bully (though it is not specifically attested until 1706). "Sweetheart" words often go bad in this way; compare leman, also ladybird, which in Farmer and Henley ("Slang and Its Analogues") is "1. A whore; and (2) a term of endearment." Shakespeare has bully-rook "jolly comrade."ETD bully (n.).3

    The adjective meaning "worthy, jolly, admirable" is attested from 1680s and preserves an earlier, positive sense of the word. It enjoyed popularity in late 19c. American English, and was used from 1864 in expressions, such as bully for you! "bravo!"ETD bully (n.).4

    bullied (adj.)

    "abused by a bully," 1851, past-participle adjective from bully (v.).ETD bullied (adj.).2

    bully (v.)

    "overbear with bluster or menaces," 1710, from bully (n.). Related: Bullied; bullying.ETD bully (v.).2

    bullying (n.)

    "insolent tyrannizing, personal intimidation," 1777, verbal noun from bully (v.).ETD bullying (n.).2

    bullion (n.)

    mid-14c., "uncoined gold or silver," from Anglo-French bullion, Old French billon "bar of precious metal," also "place where coins are made, mint," from Old French bille "stick, block of wood" (see billiards), influenced by Old French boillir "to boil," from Latin bullire "boil" (see boil (v.)), through the notion of "melting."ETD bullion (n.).2

    bullish (adj.)

    1560s, "of the nature of a bull," from bull (n.1) + -ish; stock market sense of "tending to advance in price" is from 1882. Related: Bullishly; bullishness.ETD bullish (adj.).2

    bullock (n.)

    Old English bulluc "young bull, bull calf," from Proto-Germanic *bulluka-, from the stem of bull (n.1). Now always a castrated bull reared for beef.ETD bullock (n.).2

    bullpen (n.)

    also bull-pen, 1820, "pen or enclosure for bulls," from bull (n.1) + pen (n.2). Baseball sense "area where pitchers warm up before entering a game" is from 1915, perhaps from earlier slang meaning "temporary holding cell for prisoners" (common in American Civil War camps). Bullpen also was the name of a baseball-like game played in U.S. late 19c.ETD bullpen (n.).2

    bull-ring (n.)

    "arena for bull-fights," early 15c., from bull (n.1) + ring (n.1).ETD bull-ring (n.).2

    bulls-eye (n.)

    also bullseye, 1833 as "center of a target," from bull (n.1) + eye (n.). So called for size and color. Meaning "shot that hits the mark" is from 1857. Bulls-eye also was used from 1680s of various sorts of circular holes or objects.ETD bulls-eye (n.).2

    bullshit (n.)

    also bull shit, "eloquent and insincere rhetoric," 1914, American English slang; see bull (n.1) + shit (n.), probably because it smells. But bull in the sense of "trivial or false statements" (1914), which usually is associated with this, might be a continuation of Middle English bull "false talk, fraud" (see bull (n.3)).ETD bullshit (n.).2

    bullshit (v.)

    by 1942, from bullshit (n.). Related: Bullshitted; bullshitting.ETD bullshit (v.).2

    bull-whip (n.)

    also bullwhip, "long, thick type of whip 'used by drovers to intimidate refractory animals'" [Century Dictionary], 1852, American English, from bull (n.1) + whip (n.). Whips made of bull hide were known in Middle English as bull-rope, bull-sinew, bull-yerde. But in bull-whip (also in 19c. American English bull-whack) the sense is perhaps "whip that can drive a bull," or bull might be a reference to the size of it. The earliest references (1850s) are in Northern accounts of Southern slavery. As a verb from 1895.ETD bull-whip (n.).2

    bully pulpit (n.)

    "public office or position regarded as an opportunity to speak out on an issue or issues," 1904, coined by U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, in reference to the White House. See bully (v.) + pulpit.ETD bully pulpit (n.).2

    bullyrag (v.)

    "to bully, badger, scold," 1790, ballarag, of uncertain origin; early spellings suggest it is not connected to bully.ETD bullyrag (v.).2

    bulrush (n.)

    also bullrush, popular name for tall rush-like plants growing in or near water (in Biblical use, the Egyptian papyrus), mid-15c., bolroysche, from rush (n.1); the signification of bull is doubtful.ETD bulrush (n.).2

    bulwark (n.)

    early 15c., "a fortification outside a city wall or gate; a rampart, barricade," from Middle Dutch bulwerke or Middle High German bolwerc, probably [Skeat] from bole "plank, tree trunk" (from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell") + werc "work" (see work (n.)). Thus "bole-work," a construction of logs. Figurative sense "means of defense or security" is from mid-15c. A doublet of boulevard.ETD bulwark (n.).2

    bum (n.2)

    "dissolute loafer, tramp," 1864, American English, from bummer (q.v.) "loafer, idle person" (1855), which is probably from German. Bum first appears in a German-American context, and bummer was popular during the American Civil War in the slang of the North's army (which had as many as 216,000 German immigrants in the ranks). There may also be influence or merging with bum (n.1) "buttocks," which was applied insultingly to persons from 1530s and is in Jamieson's 1825 Scottish dictionary. Bum's rush "forcible ejection" is recorded by 1910.ETD bum (n.2).2

    bum (v.)

    1863, "loaf and beg," American English, a word from the Civil War, perhaps a back-formation from bummer "loafer," or from bum (n.2). The meaning "feel depressed" is from 1973, perhaps from bummer in the "bad experience" sense. Related: Bummed; bumming.ETD bum (v.).2

    bum (adj.)

    "of poor quality," 1859, American English, from bum (n.2). Bum steer in the figurative sense of "bad advice" is attested from 1901.ETD bum (adj.).2

    bum (n.1)

    "buttocks," late 14c., "probably onomatopœic, to be compared with other words of similar sound and with the general sense of 'protuberance, swelling.' " [OED]ETD bum (n.1).2

    bumbailiff (n.)

    server of writs, maker of arrests, etc., "A bailiff of the meanest kind; one that is employed in arrests" [Johnson], c. 1600, from bum (n.1) "arse" + bailiff, because he was always felt to be close behind. OED compares the French equivalent pousse-cul.ETD bumbailiff (n.).2


    "self-important petty official," 1856, from the name of the fussy, pompous, stupid beadle in Dickens' "Oliver Twist." Related: Bumbledom.ETD Bumble.2

    bumble (v.)

    "to flounder, blunder," 1530s, probably of imitative origin. Related: Bumbled; bumbler; bumbling. Bumble-puppy (1801) was a name for various outdoor sports and games.ETD bumble (v.).2

    bumbling (adj.)

    "confused, blundering, awkward," 1886, present-participle adjective from bumble (v.).ETD bumbling (adj.).2

    bumble-bee (n.)

    also bumblebee, "large, hairy type of bee," 1520s, replacing Middle English humbul-be (altered by association with Middle English bombeln "to boom, buzz," late 14c.), which probably originally was echoic.ETD bumble-bee (n.).2

    bumf (n.)

    "papers, paperwork," 1889, British schoolboy slang, originally "toilet-paper," from bum-fodder; see bum (n.1) + fodder.ETD bumf (n.).2

    bummer (n.)

    "loafer, idle person," 1855, possibly an extension of the British word for "backside" (similar development took place in Scotland by 1540), but more probably from German slang bummler "loafer," agent noun from bummeln "go slowly, waste time." The earliest uses are in representations of German immigrant dialect in the U.S. In the American Civil War it was common in the sense "camp-follower, plundering straggler."ETD bummer (n.).2

    According to Kluge, the German word is from 17c., and its earliest sense is "oscillate back and forth." It is perhaps connected to words in German for "dangle" (baumeln), via "back-and-forth motion" of a bell clapper, transferred to "going back and forth," hence "doing nothing." The meaning "bad experience" is 1968 slang.ETD bummer (n.).3

    bump (n.)

    1590s, "protuberance caused by a blow;" 1610s as "a dull-sounding, solid blow;" see bump (v.). The dancer's bump and grind is attested from 1940. To be like a bump on a log "silent, stupidly inarticulate" is by 1863, American English.ETD bump (n.).2

    bump (v.)

    1560s, "to bulge out;" 1610s, "to strike heavily, cause to come into violent contact," perhaps from Scandinavian, probably echoic, if the original sense was "hitting" then of "swelling from being hit." It also has a long association with the obsolete verb bum "make a booming noise." To bump into "meet by chance" is from 1886; to bump off "kill" is by 1908 in underworld slang. Related: Bumped; bumping. Bumpsy (adj.) was old slang for "drunk" (1610s).ETD bump (v.).2

    bumper (n.)

    1670s, "glass filled to the brim;" perhaps from notion of bumping as "large," or from a related sense of "booming" (see bump (v.)). The meaning "anything unusually large" (as in bumper crop) is from 1759, originally slang. The agent-noun meaning "buffer of a car" is from 1839, American English, originally in reference to railway cars; 1901 of automobiles, in the phrase bumper-to-bumper, in reference to a hypothetical situation (it was used of actual traffic jams by 1908).ETD bumper (n.).2

    bumpy (adj.)

    of a road, etc., "marked by bumps," 1865, from bump + -y (2). Of airplane flights, "uneven because of bumps," 1911.ETD bumpy (adj.).2

    Related: Bumpiness.ETD bumpy (adj.).3

    bumpkin (n.)

    "awkward country fellow," 1560s, probably from Middle Dutch bommekijn "little barrel," diminutive of boom "tree" (see beam (n.)). Apparently, though itself Dutch, it began as a derogatory reference to Dutch people as short and dumpy. The Dutch word came into English in a more literal sense in 1630s as nautical bumkin "short boom projecting from each quarter of a vessel."ETD bumpkin (n.).2

    bumptious (adj.)

    "offensively assertive," 1803, probably a jocular slang coinage from bump on the pattern of fractious, etc. Related: Bumptiously; bumptiousness.ETD bumptious (adj.).2

    buns (n.)

    see bun.ETD buns (n.).2

    bun (n.)

    "small, slightly sweetened roll or biscuit," late 14c., of obscure and much-disputed origin; perhaps [Skeat] from Old French buignete "a fritter," originally "a boil, a swelling," diminutive of buigne "swelling from a blow, bump on the head," from a Germanic source (compare Middle High German bunge "clod, lump"), or from Gaulish *bunia (compare Gaelic bonnach; see bannock). Spanish buñelo "a fritter" apparently is from the same source.ETD bun (n.).2

    Of hair coiled at the back of the head, first attested 1894. To have a bun in the oven "be pregnant" is from 1951. The modern popular use of buns in the sense of "male buttocks" is from 1960s, perhaps from a perceived similarity; but bun also meant "tail of a hare" (1530s) in Scottish and northern England dialect and was transferred to human beings (and conveniently rhymed with nun in ribald ballads). This may be an entirely different word; OED points to Gaelic bun "stump, root."ETD bun (n.).3

    buna (n.)

    synthetic rubber made from butadiene, 1936, from German Buna, a name chosen by the German Dye Trust, from first elements of butadiene, name of a hydrocarbon (related to butane; the suffix indicates the presence of two double bonds) + Na, indicating sodium (from natrium; see sodium).ETD buna (n.).2

    bunch (v.)

    late 14c., "to bulge out," from bunch (n.). The meaning "to gather up in a bunch" (transitive) is from 1828; sense of "to crowd together" (intransitive) is from 1850. Related: Bunched; bunching.ETD bunch (v.).2

    bunch (n.)

    mid-14c., "a bundle;" late 14c., "protuberance on the body, swelling, knob, lump," probably from Old French dialectal bonge "bundle," a nasalized form of Old French bouge (2), 15c., from Flemish bondje diminutive of boud "bundle." The sense of "a cluster, joined collection of things of the same kind" is from mid-15c. The looser meaning "a lot, a group of any kind" is from 1620s.ETD bunch (n.).2

    bunco (n.)

    also bunko, type of confidence swindle, 1872, perhaps from Italian banco "bank."ETD bunco (n.).2

    Buncombe (n.)

    see bunk (n.2). The North Carolina county was named for Edward Buncombe (1742—1778), North Carolina revolutionary leader and colonel in the American army.ETD Buncombe (n.).2

    bund (n.)

    "league, confederacy," 1850, from German Bund "federation, league, alliance, union" (related to English band (n.2) and bind (v.)). It appears in names of various fraternal organizations, in U.S. most notoriously in German-American Bund, a pro-Nazi organization founded 1936 and dissolved in 1941.ETD bund (n.).2

    Bundestag (n.)

    German federal council, 1879, from German Bundestag, from genitive of Bund "league, confederacy, association" (related to English band (n.2) and bind (v.)) + tag, literally "day;" as a verb, tagen, "to sit in conference" (see day; also compare adjourn). Hence also Bundesrat "federal council of the German empire" (1872), from rat, rath "council" (see rathskeller).ETD Bundestag (n.).2

    bundle (v.)

    1620s, "make into a bundle," from bundle (n.). The meaning "sleep with another, clothed, in the same bed," a noted former custom in New England, is from 1781. The meaning "to send away hurriedly" is from 1823, from the notion of packing one's effects for a journey. To bundle up "wrap in warm heavy clothes" is from 1853. Related: Bundled; bundling.ETD bundle (v.).2

    bundle (n.)

    early 14c., "bound collection of things," from Middle Dutch bondel, diminutive of bond, from binden "to bind," or perhaps a merger of this word and Old English byndele "binding," from Proto-Germanic *bund- (source also of German bündel "to bundle"), from PIE root *bhendh- "to bind." The meaning "a lot of money" is from 1899. To be a bundle of nerves "very anxious" is from 1938.ETD bundle (n.).2

    bundling (n.)

    1640s, "a gathering into a bundle," verbal noun from bundle (v.). The meaning "sharing a bed for the night, fully dressed, wrapped up with someone of the opposite sex" (1782) is a former local custom in New England (especially Connecticut and southeastern Massachusetts). It was noted there from about 1750s and often regarded by outsiders as grossly immoral, but New Englanders wrote defenses of it and claimed it was practiced elsewhere, too. It seems to have died out with the 18th century.ETD bundling (n.).2

    bung (n.)

    mid-15c., "large stopper for a cask," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Middle Dutch bonge "stopper;" or perhaps from French bonde "bung, bunghole" (15c.), which may be of Germanic origin (or the Germanic words may be borrowed from Romanic), or it may be from Gaulish *bunda (compare Old Irish bonn, Gaelic bonn, Welsh bon "base, sole of the foot"). It is possible that either or both of these sources is ultimately from Latin puncta in the sense of "hole" (from PIE root *peuk- "to prick"). Transferred to the cask-mouth itself (also bung-hole) from 1570s.ETD bung (n.).2

    bungalow (n.)

    1670s, Anglo-Indian, "one-story thatched house," usually surrounded by a veranda, from Gujarati bangalo, from Hindi bangla "low, thatched house," literally "Bengalese," used elliptically for "house in the Bengal style" (see Bengal). Related: Bungaloid.ETD bungalow (n.).2

    bungee (n.)

    1930, "elastic rope," probably an extended use of the identical word used in late 19c. British schoolboy slang for "rubber eraser;" this probably is more or less onomatopoeic, from notions of bouncy + spongy. First record of bungee jumping is from 1979.ETD bungee (n.).2

    bung-hole (n.)

    also bunghole, "hole in a cask through which is it filled, closed by a stopper," 1570s, from bung (n.) + hole (n.). Sense extended to "anus" by c. 1600.ETD bung-hole (n.).2

    bungle (v.)

    "to work or act clumsily," 1520s, origin obscure. OED suggests imitative; perhaps a mix of boggle and bumble, or perhaps [Skeat] from a Scandinavian word akin to Swedish bangla "to work ineffectually," Old Swedish bunga "to strike" (related to German Bengel "cudgel," also "rude fellow"). Related: Bungled; bungling.ETD bungle (v.).2

    bungling (n.)

    "clumsy workmanship," 1660s, verbal noun from bungle (v.).ETD bungling (n.).2

    bungle (n.)

    "a clumsy piece of work," 1650s, from bungle (v.).ETD bungle (n.).2

    bungling (adj.)

    "prone to bungle, clumsy, awkward," 1580s, present-participle adjective from bungle (v.). Related: Bunglingly.ETD bungling (adj.).2

    bungler (n.)

    "one who works clumsily," 1530s, agent noun from bungle (v.).ETD bungler (n.).2

    bunion (n.)

    "swelling on the foot caused by inflammation of a bursa," 1718, apparently from East Anglian dialectic bunny "lump, swelling" (16c.), which is probably from French buigne "bump on the head, swelling from a blow" (see bun).ETD bunion (n.).2

    bunk (n.1)

    1758, "sleeping-berth in a vessel," later in a railway car, etc., probably a shortened form of bunker (n.) in its sense of "seat." Bunk-bed (n.) attested by 1869.ETD bunk (n.1).2

    bunk (v.)

    "to sleep in a bunk," by 1840, originally nautical, from bunk (n.1). Hence "to occupy a bed." Related: Bunked; bunking.ETD bunk (v.).2

    bunk (n.2)

    "nonsense," 1900, short for bunkum, phonetic spelling of Buncombe, a county in North Carolina. The usual story (attested by 1841) of its origin is this: At the close of the protracted Missouri statehood debates in the U.S. Congress, supposedly on Feb. 25, 1820, North Carolina Rep. Felix Walker (1753-1828) began what promised to be a "long, dull, irrelevant speech," and he resisted calls to cut it short by saying he was bound to say something that could appear in the newspapers in the home district and prove he was on the job. "I shall not be speaking to the House," he confessed, "but to Buncombe." Thus Bunkum has been American English slang for "nonsense" since 1841 (it is attested from 1838 as generic for "a U.S. Representative's home district").ETD bunk (n.2).2

    bunker (n.)

    1758, originally Scottish, "seat, bench," a word of uncertain origin, possibly a variant of banker "bench" (1670s; see bank (n.2)); or possibly from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Swedish bunke "boards used to protect the cargo of a ship"). The meaning "receptacle for coal aboard a ship" is from 1839. In reference to sand-holes on golf courses, by 1824, from the extended sense "earthen seat" (1805). The meaning "dug-out fortification" probably is from World War I.ETD bunker (n.).2

    Bunker Hill

    battle site in Massachusetts, U.S., it rises on land assigned in 1634 to George Bunker, who came from the vicinity of Bedford, England. The name dates from 1229, as Bonquer, and is from Old French bon quer "good heart."ETD Bunker Hill.2

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