blurb (n.) Look up blurb at Dictionary.com
used by U.S. scholar Brander Matthews (1852-1929) in 1906 in "American Character;" popularized 1907 by U.S. humorist Frank Gelett Burgess (1866-1951). Originally mocking excessive praise printed on book jackets.
Gelett Burgess ... then entertained the guests with some characteristic flashes of Burgessian humor. Referring to the word "blurb" on the wrapper of his book he said: "To 'blurb' is to make a sound like a publisher. The blurb was invented by Frank A. Munsey when he wrote on the front of his magazine in red ink 'I consider this number of Munsey's the hottest pie that ever came out of my bakery.' ... A blurb is a check drawn on Fame, and it is seldom honored.["] ["Publishers' Weekly," May 18, 1907]
blurry (adj.) Look up blurry at Dictionary.com
1855, from blur + -y (2). Related: Blurrily; blurriness.
blurt (v.) Look up blurt at Dictionary.com
1570s, probably echoic. Related: blurted; blurting. As a noun, 1570s, probably from the verb.
blush (n.) Look up blush at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "a look, a glance" (sense preserved in at first blush), also "a gleam, a gleaming" (late 14c.), from blush (v.). As "a reddening of the face" from 1590s. Meaning "a rosy color" is 1590s.
blush (v.) Look up blush at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., bluschen, blischen, probably from Old English blyscan "blush, become red, glow" (glossing Latin rutilare), akin to blyse "torch," from Proto-Germanic *blisk- "to shine, burn," which also yielded words in Low German (Dutch blozen "to blush") and Scandinavian (Danish blusse "to blaze; to blush"); ultimately from PIE *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)).

For vowel evolution, see bury. Earliest recorded senses were "to shine brightly; to look, stare." Sense of "turn red in the face" (with shame, modesty, etc.) is from c. 1400. Related: Blushed; blushing.
bluster (n.) Look up bluster at Dictionary.com
1580s, from bluster (v.).
bluster (v.) Look up bluster at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from a Low German source, such as Middle Low German blüstren "to blow violently," East Frisian blüstern "to bluster" (see blow (v.1)). Related: Blustered; blustering.
blustery (adj.) Look up blustery at Dictionary.com
1707, from bluster (n.) + -y (2). Blustering in this sense is recorded from 1510s.
BMX Look up BMX at Dictionary.com
1978, semi-acronym from bicycle motocross.
bo tree (n.) Look up bo tree at Dictionary.com
1680s, from Sinhalese bo, from Pali bodhi, short for bodhi-taru "bo tree," literally "tree of wisdom or enlightenment" (related to Sanskrit buddhah "awakened;" see bid) + taru "tree."
boa (n.) Look up boa at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "large snake," from Latin boa, type of large serpent mentioned in Pliny's "Natural History;" origin unknown (in Middle English folk etymology associated with Greek bous "ox"). Extension to "snake-like coil of fur worn by ladies" is from 1836. The popular name boa constrictor is from 1788.
Boanerges Look up Boanerges at Dictionary.com
name given by Christ to his disciples John and James, the two sons of Zebedee (Mark iii.17), Late Latin, from Ecclesiastical Greek Boanerges, from a Galilean dialectal corruption of Hebrew bene reghesh "sons of rage" (interpreted in Greek as "sons of thunder"), from bene (see B'nai B'rith) + reghesh "commotion, tumult, throng." Applied figuratively to zealous or loud preachers.
boar (n.) Look up boar at Dictionary.com
Old English bar "boar," from Proto-Germanic *bairaz (source also of Old Saxon ber, Dutch beer, Old High German ber "a boar"), which is of unknown origin with no cognates outside West Germanic. Applied in Middle English to persons of boar-like character.
board (v.) Look up board at Dictionary.com
verb senses derived from various senses of board (n.1) and board (n.2) include "come alongside" (a ship), mid-15c. (from n.2); "put boards on, frame with boards," late 14c. (implied in boarded, from n.1); " to get onto" (a ship), 1590s, transferred from mid-19c. to stages, railway cars, aircraft, etc. (from n.2). Meaning "to be supplied with food and lodging" is from 1550s (from n.1 in transferred sense). Transitive meaning "provide with daily meals and lodging" is from 1590s. Related: Boarded; boarding.
board (n.1) Look up board at Dictionary.com
Old English bord "a plank, flat surface," from Proto-Germanic *burdam (source also of Old Norse borð "plank," Dutch bord "board," Gothic fotu-baurd "foot-stool," German Brett "plank"), from PIE *bhrdh- "board," from root *bherdh- "to cut." See also board (n.2), with which this is so confused as practically to form one word (if indeed they were not the same word all along).

A board is thinner than a plank, and generally less than 2.5 inches thick. The transferred meaning "food" (late 14c.) is an extension of the late Old English sense of "table" (compare boarder, boarding); hence, also, above board "honest, open" (1610s). A further extension is to "table where council is held" (1570s), then transferred to "leadership council, council (that meets at a table)," 1610s.
board (n.2) Look up board at Dictionary.com
"side of ship," Old English bord "border, rim, ship's side," from Proto-Germanic *bordaz (source also of Old Saxon bord, Dutch boord, German Bord, Old High German bart, Old Norse barð), perhaps from the same source as board (n.1), but not all sources accept this. Connected to border; see also starboard.

If not etymologically related to board (n.1), the two forms represented in English by these words were nonetheless confused at an early date in most Germanic languages, a situation made worse in English because this Germanic root also was adopted as Medieval Latin bordus (source of Italian and Spanish bordo). It also entered Old French as bort "beam, board, plank; side of a ship" (12c., Modern French bord), either from Medieval Latin or Frankish, and from thence it came over with the Normans to mingle with its native cousins. By now the senses are inextricably tangled. Some etymology dictionaries treat them as having been the same word all along.
boarder (n.) Look up boarder at Dictionary.com
1520s, "one who has food and/or lodging at the house of another," agent noun from board (v.), in the "be supplied with food" sense; meaning "one who boards (an enemy's) ships" is from 1769, from a verbal sense derived from board (n.2).
boarding (n.) Look up boarding at Dictionary.com
1530s, "supplying of meals, food and lodging," from board (n.1) in its extended sense of "food" (via notion of "table"). Boarding-school is from 1670s; boarding-house attested from 1728.
boardroom (n.) Look up boardroom at Dictionary.com
also board-room, 1731, from board (n.1) in the sense of "table where council is held" + room (n.).
boardwalk (n.) Look up boardwalk at Dictionary.com
"walkway made of boards," 1864, American English, from board (n.1) + walk (n.). As a seaside attraction from 1881, first in reference to Atlantic City, N.J.
boast (v.) Look up boast at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "to brag, speak arrogantly;" from the same source as boast (n.). Related: Boasted; boasting.
boast (n.) Look up boast at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "arrogance, presumption, pride, vanity;" c. 1300, "a brag, boastful speech," from Anglo-French bost "ostentation," probably via Scandinavian (compare Norwegian baus "proud, bold, daring"), from Proto-Germanic *bausia "to blow up, puff up, swell" (source also of Middle High German bus "swelling," dialectal German baustern "to swell;" Middle Dutch bose, Dutch boos "evil, wicked, angry," Old High German bosi "worthless, slanderous," German böse "evil, bad, angry"), from PIE *bhou-, variant of root *beu-, *bheu- "to grow, swell" (see bull (n.2)).

The notion apparently is of being "puffed up" with pride; compare Old English belgan "to become angry, offend, provoke," belg "anger, arrogance," from the same root as bellows and belly (n.). Related: Boasted; boasting. An Old English word for "boasting" was micelsprecende, "big talk."
boastful (adj.) Look up boastful at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from boast (n.) + -ful. Related: Boastfully; boastfulness.
boat (n.) Look up boat at Dictionary.com
Old English bat "boat, ship, vessel," from Proto-Germanic *bait- (source also of Old Norse batr, Dutch boot, German Boot), possibly from PIE root *bheid- "to split" (see fissure) if the notion is of making a boat by hollowing out a tree trunk; or it may be an extension of the name for some part of a ship. French bateau "boat" is from Old English or Norse. Spanish batel, Italian battello, Medieval Latin batellus likewise probably are from Germanic.
boatswain (n.) Look up boatswain at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from late Old English batswegen, from bat "boat" (see boat (n.)) + Old Norse sveinn "boy" (see swain). Phonetic spelling bo'sun/bosun is attested from 1840.
BOATSWAIN. The warrant officer who in the old Navy was responsible for all the gear that set the ship in motion and all the tackle that kept her at rest. [Sir Geoffrey Callender, "Sea Passages," 1943]
bob (n.1) Look up bob at Dictionary.com
"act of bobbing," 1540s, from bob (v.1). As a slang word for "shilling" it is attested from 1789, but the signification is unknown.
bob (v.1) Look up bob at Dictionary.com
"move with a short, jerking motion," late 14c., probably connected to Middle English bobben "to strike, beat" (late 13c.), perhaps of echoic origin. Another early sense was "to make a fool of, cheat" (early 14c.). Related: Bobbed; bobbing. The sense in bobbing for apples (or cherries) recorded by 1799.
bob (n.2) Look up bob at Dictionary.com
"short hair," 1680s, attested 1570s in sense of "a horse's tail cut short," from earlier bobbe "cluster" (as of leaves), mid-14c., a northern word, perhaps of Celtic origin (compare Irish baban "tassel, cluster," Gaelic babag). Used over the years in various senses connected by the notion of "round, hanging mass," such as "weight at the end of a line" (1650s). The hair sense was revived with a shift in women's styles early 20c. (verb 1918, noun 1920). Related words include bobby pin, bobby sox, bobsled, bobcat.
bobbin (n.) Look up bobbin at Dictionary.com
1520s, from French bobine, small instrument used in sewing or tapestry-making, perhaps from Latin balbus (see babble (v.)) for the stuttering, stammering noise it made.
bobbinet (n.) Look up bobbinet at Dictionary.com
1819, from bobbin + net (n.).
bobble (v.) Look up bobble at Dictionary.com
1812, frequentative of bob (v.1). The notion is "to move or handle something with continual bobbing." Related: Bobbled; bobbling. Bobble-head as a type of doll is from 1968.
bobby (n.) Look up bobby at Dictionary.com
"London policeman," 1844, from Mr. (later Sir) Robert Peel (1788-1850), Home Secretary who introduced the Metropolitan Police Act (10 Geo IV, c.44) of 1829. Compare peeler.
bobby pin (n.) Look up bobby pin at Dictionary.com
1928, from diminutive of bob (n.2) + pin (n.).
bobby sox Look up bobby sox at Dictionary.com
1943, from diminutive of bob (n.2) + sox. So called because they are "shortened" compared to knee-socks. Derivative bobby-soxer first attested 1944.
Months ago colored bobby sox folded at the top were decreed, not by anyone or any group but, as usual, by a sudden mysterious and universal acceptance of the new idea. Now no teen-ager dares wear anything but pure white socks without a fold. ["Life" magazine, Dec. 11, 1944]
bobcat (n.) Look up bobcat at Dictionary.com
North American lynx, 1873, in a Maine context; so called for its short tail; see bob (n.2) + cat (n.).
bobolink (n.) Look up bobolink at Dictionary.com
American passerine bird, 1796, American English, earlier bob-lincoln, bob-o-Lincoln (1774), imitative of the hearty song of the bird.
bobsled (n.) Look up bobsled at Dictionary.com
1839, from bob (n.2) + sled (n.). So called because it is a short type.
bobwhite (n.) Look up bobwhite at Dictionary.com
North American partridge, 1819, so called from the sound of its cry.
Boccaccio Look up Boccaccio at Dictionary.com
the name means "big-mouth" in Italian, from boccaccia, augmentative of bocca "mouth" (see bouche).
bocce (n.) Look up bocce at Dictionary.com
from Italian bocce "(wooden) balls," plural of boccia, which is related to French bosse "bump, hump," perhaps from a Germanic source.
Boche (n.) Look up Boche at Dictionary.com
"German soldier in World War I," 1914, perhaps from French slang boche "rascal," applied to the Germans; a word of unknown origin. Another theory traces it to French Allemand "German," in eastern French Al(le)moche, altered contemptuously to Alboche by association with caboche, a slang word for "head," literally "cabbage" (compare tete de boche, French for "German" in an 1887 slang dictionary). All the French terms are no older than mid-19c.
bock (n.) Look up bock at Dictionary.com
strong, dark type of German beer, 1856, from German ambock, from Bavarian dialectal pronunciation of Einbecker bier, from Einbeck, Hanover, where it was first brewed; popularly associated with Bock "a goat." Brewed in December and January, drunk in May.
bod (n.) Look up bod at Dictionary.com
1788, "a person," short for body. Meaning "physical body" is recorded from 1933.
bodacious (adj.) Look up bodacious at Dictionary.com
1837 (implied in bodaciously), Southern U.S. slang, perhaps from bodyaciously "bodily, totally," or a blend of bold and audacious, which suits the earliest attested sense of the word. Popularized anew by 1982 Hollywood film "An Officer and a Gentleman."
bode (v.) Look up bode at Dictionary.com
Old English bodian "proclaim, announce; foretell," from boda "messenger," probably from Proto-Germanic *budon- (source also of Old Saxon gibod, German gebot, Old Norse boð), from PIE *bheudh- "be aware, make aware" (source also of Sanskrit bodhati "is awake, is watchful, observes," buddhah "awakened, enlightened;" Old Church Slavonic bljudo "to observe;" Lithuanian budeti "to be awake;" Old Irish buide "contentment, thanks"). As a shortened form of forebode (usually evil), it dates from 1740. Related: Boded; boding.
bodega (n.) Look up bodega at Dictionary.com
1848, from Mexican Spanish, from Spanish bodega "a wine shop; cellar," from Latin apotheca, from Greek apotheke "depot, store" (see apothecary). The same word as boutique.
Bodhisattva (n.) Look up Bodhisattva at Dictionary.com
1828, from Sanskrit, literally "one whose essence is perfect knowledge," from bodhi "perfect knowledge" (see Buddha) + sattva "reality, being."
bodice (n.) Look up bodice at Dictionary.com
1560s, oddly spelled plural of body, name of a tight-fitting Elizabethan garment covering the torso; plural because the body came in two parts which fastened in the middle. Bodice-ripper for "racy romance novel" is from 1981.
bodily (adj.) Look up bodily at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "pertaining to the body;" also opposed to "spiritual;" from body + -ly (1). As an adverb (with -ly (2)) from late 14c.
bodkin (n.) Look up bodkin at Dictionary.com
late 14c., boydekin, of unknown origin. The ending suggests a diminutive formation, and Celtic has been suggested as the source of the root.