bodega (n.) Look up bodega at
1846, "wine shop," from Mexican Spanish, from Spanish bodega "a wine shop; wine-cellar," from Latin apotheca, from Greek apotheke "depot, store" (see apothecary). Since 1970s in American English it has come to mean "corner convenience store or grocery," especially in a Spanish-speaking community, but in New York City and some other places used generically. Also a doublet of boutique. Italian cognate bottega entered English c. 1900 as "artist's workshop or studio," especially in Italy.
Bodhisattva (n.) Look up Bodhisattva at
"one of a class of beings in Mahayana Buddhism who have attained supreme wisdom," 1828, from Sanskrit, literally "one whose essence is perfect knowledge," from bodhi "perfect knowledge" (see Buddha) + sattva "reality, being," from sat-, sant- "existing, true, virtuous," from PIE root *es- "to be."
bodice (n.) Look up bodice at
1560s, oddly spelled plural of body, name of a tight-fitting Elizabethan inner garment, laced in front, 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. Related: Bodiced.
bodiless (adj.) Look up bodiless at
late 14c., "not consisting of material substance, incorporeal," from body (n.) + -less.
bodily (adj.) Look up bodily at
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
c. 1300, badeken, boydekin, "short, small dagger, pointed weapon," of unknown origin. The ending suggests a diminutive formation, and Celtic has been suggested as the source of the primitive, "In default of finding it elsewhere" [OED], but Century Dictionary rejects this.
Bodleian Look up Bodleian at
from Sir Thomas Bodley (1545-1613), who in 1597 refounded the library at Oxford University.
Bodoni Look up Bodoni at
1880, typeface based on that used by celebrated Italian printer Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813) of Parma. The modern type of this name is a composite of his many forms.
body (n.) Look up body at
Old English bodig "trunk of a man or beast, physical structure of a human or animal; material frame, material existence of a human; main or principal part of anything," related to Old High German botah, but otherwise of unknown origin. Not elsewhere in Germanic, and the word has died out in German (replaced by Leib, originally "life," and Körper, from Latin), "but in English body remains as a great and important word" [OED].

Extension to "a person, a human being" is from c. 1300. Meaning "main part" of anything was in late Old English, hence its use in reference to vehicles (1520s). From 1580s as "part of the dress which covers the body." From 1590s as "main part of a group, any number of individuals spoken of collectively." From 1660s as "main portion of a document." Contrasted with soul at least since mid-13c. Meaning "corpse" ("dead body") is from c. 1200. Transferred to matter generally in Middle English (as in heavenly body, late 14c.).

Body politic "the nation, the state, whole body of people living under an organized government" first recorded late 15c., with French word order. Body image was coined 1934. Body count "number of enemy killed in battle or otherwise" is from 1968, from the Vietnam War. Body language is attested from 1967, perhaps from French langage corporel (1966). Body-snatcher "one who secretly disinters the bodies of the recently dead for dissection" is from 1834. Phrase over my dead body attested by 1833.
body-bag (n.) Look up body-bag at
originally a kind of sleeping bag, 1885, from body (n.) + bag (n.). As a plastic bag to transport a dead body, by 1967.
body-builder (n.) Look up body-builder at
by 1916 as "one devoted to cultivating fitness and strength," from body (n.) + builder. Used earlier in reference to healthful nutriments and coach-body makers. Related: Body-building (1915 in the "training for physical strength and fitness" sense).
bodyguard (n.) Look up bodyguard at
also body-guard, 1735, "retinue, escort charged with the protection of one person," collective singular, from body + guard (n.). Attested 1861 as "a soldier of the bodyguard."
Boehm Look up Boehm at
of key arrangements on a flute, 1845, in reference to the system invented 1832 by German musician Theobold Böhm (1794-1881). The surname is literally "a Bohemian."
Boeing Look up Boeing at
U.S. aerospace corporation, founded 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington, as an airplane manufacturer. The family name is German.
Boeotian (adj.) Look up Boeotian at
"ignorant, dull," 1590s, from Boeotia, district around Thebes in ancient Greece (said to have been so called for its cattle pastures; from Greek bous "ox," from PIE root *gwou- "ox, bull, cow"), whose inhabitants were characterized as proverbially dull and countrified by their neighbors to the east, the Athenians, who thought Boeotia "a canton hopelessly behind the times, a slow canton, as the nimble Attics would say, a glorious climate for eels, but a bad air for brains" [B.L. Gildersleeve, "Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes"]. The Boeotians presumably held reciprocal opinions, but their great writers, Plutarch and Pindar, though patriots, are full of praise for Athenian deeds and institutions.
Though his aim was to vindicate Boeotia, [Pindar] has probably done her a disservice, in that he has helped to immortalise the scurrilous proverb Βοιωτία ύς [Boeotian swine], which he wished to confute. ... If left to itself, the slander might have passed into oblivion long ago. [W. Rhys Roberts, "The Ancient Boeotians," 1895]
Boer (n.) Look up Boer at
"Dutch colonist in South Africa," 1824, from Dutch boer "farmer," from Middle Dutch, cognate with Old English gebur "dweller, farmer, peasant," and thus related to bower, German Bauer, and the final syllable of neighbor; from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow."

The Boer War (1899-1902), in which Great Britain defeated the South African Republic of Transvaal and Orange Free State, was technically the Second Boer War, there having been a brief preview 1880-1881.
boffin (n.) Look up boffin at
"person engaged in innovative research," especially in aviation, 1945; earlier "elderly naval officer" (1941), of uncertain origin, probably from one of the "Mr. Boffins" of English literature (as in "Our Mutual Friend").
boffo (adj.) Look up boffo at
strikingly successful, by 1961, show biz slang, probably echoic of a "hit."
bog (v.) Look up bog at
"to sink (something or someone) in a bog," c. 1600, from bog (n.). Intransitive use "to sink or stick in a bog" is from c. 1800; with down (adv.) by 1848, American English. Related: Bogged; bogging.
bog (n.) Look up bog at
"wet, soft, spongy ground with soil chiefly composed of decaying vegetable matter," c. 1500, from Gaelic and Irish bogach "bog," from adjective bog "soft, moist," from Proto-Celtic *buggo- "flexible," from PIE root *bheugh- "to bend." Bog-trotter applied to the wild Irish from 1670s.
bogart (v.) Look up bogart at
drug slang, "to keep a joint in your mouth," dangling from the lip like Humphrey Bogart's cigarette in the old movies, instead of passing it on, 1969, first attested in "Easy Rider." The word also was used 1960s with notions of "get something by intimidation, be a tough guy" (again with reference to the actor and the characters he typically played). In old drinking slang, Captain Cork was "a man slow in passing the bottle."
bogey (n.2) Look up bogey at
in golf, c. 1891, originally "number of strokes a good player is supposed to need for a given hole or course;" later, "score one over par" (1946); from the same source as bogey (n.1), on the notion of a "phantom" opponent, represented by the "ground score." The word was in vogue at the time in Britain through the popularity of a music-hall tune "Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Bogey Man."
One popular song at least has left its permanent effect on the game of golf. That song is 'The Bogey Man.' In 1890 Dr. Thos. Browne, R.N., the hon. secretary of the Great Yarmouth Club, was playing against a Major Wellman, the match being against the 'ground score,' which was the name given to the scratch value of each hole. The system of playing against the 'ground score' was new to Major Wellman, and he exclaimed, thinking of the song of the moment, that his mysterious and well-nigh invincible opponent was a regular 'bogey-man.' The name 'caught on' at Great Yarmouth, and to-day 'Bogey' is one of the most feared opponents on all the courses that acknowledge him. [1908, cited in OED]
Other early golfing sources give it an American origin. As a verb, attested by 1948.
bogey (n.1) Look up bogey at
World War II aviator slang for "unidentified aircraft, presumably hostile," probably ultimately from bogge, a variant of Middle English bugge "a frightening specter" (see bug (n.)).

Thus it shares ancestry with many dialect words for "ghost, specter," such as bog/bogge (attested 16c.-17c.), bogeyman (16c.), boggart "specter that haunts a gloomy spot" (c. 1570, in Westmoreland, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire). The earliest modern form appears to be Scottish bogle "ghost," attested from c. 1500 and popularized c. 1800 in English literature by Scott, Burns, etc.
bogeyman (n.) Look up bogeyman at
16c.; see bogey (n.1) + man (n.).
boggart (n.) Look up boggart at
also boggard, specter, goblin, sprite," especially one supposed to haunt a particular spot, 1560s; see bug (n.).
boggle (v.) Look up boggle at
1590s, "to start with fright (as a startled horse does), shy, take alarm," from Middle English bugge "specter" (among other things, supposed to scare horses at night); see bug (n.); also compare bogey (n.1), boggart. The meaning " hesitate, stop as if afraid to proceed in fear of unforeseen difficulties" is from 1630s; that of "confound, cause to hesitate" is from 1640s. As a noun from 1650s. Related: Boggled; boggling; boggler (from c. 1600 as "one who hesitates").
boggy (adj.) Look up boggy at
"swampy, like a bog; full of bogs," 1580s, from bog (n.) + -y (2). Related: Bogginess.
Bogota Look up Bogota at
capital of Colombia, founded 1530s, the name is from Chibcha (an indigenous language) Bacata, native name of a settlement of the Muisca people that stood there when the Spanish arrived.
bogus (adj.) Look up bogus at
"counterfeit, spurious, sham," 1839, from noun (1838) meaning "counterfeit money, spurious coin," American English slang, apparently from a word applied (according to OED first in Ohio in 1827) to a counterfeiter's apparatus.
One bogus or machine impressing dies on the coin, with a number of dies, engraving tools, bank bill paper, spurious coin, &c. &c. making in all a large wagon load, was taken into possession by the attorney general of Lower Canada. [Niles' Register, Sept. 7, 1833, quoting from the Concord, New Hampshire, "Statesman" of Aug. 24]
Some trace this to tantrabobus, also tantrabogus, a late 18c. colloquial Vermont word for any odd-looking object (in later 19c. use "the devil"), which might be connected to tantarabobs, recorded as a Devonshire name for the devil. Others trace it to the same source as bogey (n.1). Related: Bogusly; bogusness.
boh (interj.) Look up boh at
see boo.
Bohemia Look up Bohemia at
central European kingdom, mid-15c., Beeme, from Middle French Boheme "Bohemia," from Latin Boiohaemum (Tacitus), from Boii, the Celtic people who settled in what is now Bohemia (and were driven from it by the Germanic Marcomans early 1c.; singular Boius, fem. Boia, perhaps literally "warriors") + Proto-Germanic *haimaz "home" (see home (n.)). Attested from 1861 in meaning "community of artists and social Bohemians" or in reference to a district where they live (see bohemian).
bohemian (n.) Look up bohemian at
"a gypsy of society; person (especially an artist) who lives a free and somewhat dissipated life, despising conventionalities and having little regard for social standards," 1848, from a transferred sense of French bohemién "a Bohemian; a Gypsy," from the country name (see Bohemia). The Middle English word for "a resident or native of Bohemia" was Bemener.

The French used bohemién since 15c. to also mean "Gypsy." The Roma were wrongly believed to have come from there, perhaps because their first appearance in Western Europe may have been immediately from Bohemia, or because they were confused with the 15c. Bohemian Hussite heretics, who were driven from their country about that time.

The transferred sense, in reference to unconventional living, is attested in French by 1834 and was popularized by Henri Murger's stories from the late 1840s later collected as "Scenes de la Vie de Boheme" (the basis of Puccini's "La Bohème"). It appears in English 1848 in Thackary's "Vanity Fair."
The term 'Bohemian' has come to be very commonly accepted in our day as the description of a certain kind of literary gipsey, no matter in what language he speaks, or what city he inhabits .... A Bohemian is simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art. ["Westminster Review," 1862]
Hence also the adjective, "unconventional, free from social restraints" (1848).
Bohunk (n.) Look up Bohunk at
U.S. derogatory slang for "lower-class immigrant from Central or Eastern Europe," by 1899, probably from Bohemian + a distortion of Hungarian.
boil (n.) Look up boil at
"hard tumor," altered from Middle English bile (Kentish bele), perhaps by association with the verb; from Old English byl, byle "boil, carbuncle," from West Germanic *buljon- "swelling" (source also of Old Frisian bele, Old High German bulia, German Beule). Perhaps ultimately from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell," or from *beu- "to grow, swell" (see bull (n.2); also compare boast (n.)). Compare Old Irish bolach "pustule," Gothic ufbauljan "to puff up," Icelandic beyla "hump."
boil (v.) Look up boil at
early 13c. (intransitive) "to bubble up, be in a state of ebullition," especially from heat, from Old French bolir "boil, bubble up, ferment, gush" (12c., Modern French bouillir), from Latin bullire "to bubble, seethe," from PIE *beu- "to swell" (see bull (n.2)). The native word is seethe. Figurative sense, of passions, feelings, etc., "be in an agitated state" is from 1640s.
I am impatient, and my blood boyls high. [Thomas Otway, "Alcibiades," 1675]
Transitive sense "put into a boiling condition, cause to boil" is from early 14c. The noun is from mid-15c. as "an act of boiling," 1813 as "state of boiling." Related: Boiled; boiling. Boiling point "temperature at which a liquid is converted into vapor" is recorded from 1773.
boiler (n.) Look up boiler at
1540s, "person who boils," agent noun from boil (v.). Meaning "vessel for boiling" is from 1725; specific sense "strong metallic structure in which steam is generated for driving engines" is from 1757.
boilermaker (n.) Look up boilermaker at
also boiler-maker, "a maker of boilers for engines," 1814, from boiler (n.) + maker. Meaning "shot of whiskey with a glass of beer" is short for boilermaker's delight (1910), strong cheap whiskey, so called in jest from the notion that it would clean the scales from the interior of a boiler.
boilerplate (n.) Look up boilerplate at
"iron rolled in large, flat plates for use in making steam boilers," 1840, from boiler + plate (n.). In newspaper (and now information technology) slang, "unit of writing that can be used over and over without change," 1893. The connecting notion probably is sturdiness or reusability, but it might also be literal: From 1890s to 1950s, publicity items were cast or stamped in metal ready for the printing press and distributed to country newspapers as filler. The largest supplier was Western Newspaper Union.
boing Look up boing at
cartoon sound of a compressed spring being released or other reverberation, 1952, echoic.
boink Look up boink at
"have sex with" (v.); "the sex act" (n.), slang by c. 2000, perhaps an alteration of bonk in its popular sexual sense. Related: Boinked; boinking.
Boise Look up Boise at
city in Idaho, U.S., from French-Canadian boisé, literally "wooded," from French bois "wood," which (with Italian bosco, Spanish bosque, Medieval Latin boscus) apparently is borrowed from the Germanic root of bush (n.). Medieval Latin boscus was used especially of "woodland pasture."
boisterous (adj.) Look up boisterous at
late 15c., "rough, coarse," unexplained alteration of Middle English boistous (c. 1300) "rough, coarse, clumsy, violent," which is of unknown origin, perhaps from Anglo-French bustous "rough (road)," which is perhaps from Old French boisteos "curved, lame; uneven, rough" (Modern French boiteux), itself of obscure origin. Another guess traces it via Celtic to Latin bestia.

Of persons, "turbulent, clamorous," 1560s; "Orig. in a distinctly bad sense, but gradually passing into ... [']Abounding in rough but good-natured activity bordering upon excess[']" [OED] by 1680s. Related: Boisterously; boisterousness.
bok choy (n.) Look up bok choy at
type of Chinese cabbage, by 1967, from Cantonese, literally "white vegetable."
bold (adj.) Look up bold at
Old English beald (West Saxon), bald (Anglian) "stout-hearted, brave, confident, strong," from Proto-Germanic *balthaz (source also of Old High German bald "bold, swift," in names such as Archibald, Leopold, Theobald; Gothic balþei "boldness;" Old Norse ballr "frightful, dangerous"), perhaps from PIE *bhol-to- suffixed form of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell."

Meaning "requiring or exhibiting courage" is from mid-13c. Also in a bad sense, "audacious, presumptuous, overstepping usual bounds" (c. 1200). From 1670s as "standing out to view, striking the eye." Of flavors (coffee, etc.) from 1829. The noun meaning "those who are bold" is from c. 1300 in both admiring and disparaging senses. Old French and Provençal baut "bold," Italian baldo "bold, daring, fearless" are Germanic loan-words. Related: Boldly; boldness.
bold-face (n.) Look up bold-face at
also boldface, in typography, "having a thick or fat face," 1845, from bold (adj.) + face (n.). In reference to types, bold (adj.) is attested from 1790, perhaps from its secondary sense "easily visible, striking to the eye."
bole (n.) Look up bole at
"body or trunk of a tree," early 14c., from Old Norse bolr "tree trunk," from Proto-Germanic *bulas (source also of Middle Dutch bolle "trunk of a tree"), from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell."
bolero (n.) Look up bolero at
kind of Spanish dance in 3/4 time, "intended to represent the course of love from extreme shyness to extreme passion" [Century Dictionary], 1787, from Spanish, probably from bola "ball" (and perhaps with reference to "whirling motion"), from Latin bulla "round swelling, knob" (see bull (n.2)). In reference to a type of short jacket (worn in Spain by men, by women elsewhere), it is recorded by 1864.
Bolivia Look up Bolivia at
South American republic, founded 1825, named for Simon Bolivar (1783-1830), statesman and soldier.
boll (n.) Look up boll at
Old English bolla "bowl, cup, pot, round vessel for containing liquids," merged with Middle Dutch bolle "round object," borrowed 13c., both from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell." Influenced in meaning by Latin bulla "bubble, ball." Extended c. 1500 to "round seed pod of flax or cotton." Boll weevil, which damages cotton bolls, is so called from 1895, American English.
In south Texas, among Spanish-speaking people, the insect is generally known as the 'picudo,' a descriptive name which refers to the snout or beak of the insect. English-speaking planters generally referred to the insect at first as 'the sharpshooter,' a term which for many years has been applied to any insect which causes through its punctures the shedding of the squares or the rotting of the bolls. As there are several native insects that are commonly called sharpshooters and which, though injurious, are by no means to be compared with this insect, it becomes necessary to discourage in every way the use of the word sharpshooter as applied to this weevil. The adoption of the term 'Mexican cotton-boll weevil' for the new pest is recommended. [New Mexico College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin No. 19, April 1896]
A case of entomology meddling in etymology.
bollard (n.) Look up bollard at
1844, originally a strong, upright post along a dock for fixing hawsers for mooring ships; since 1948, usually a traffic control device; probably from bole + suffix -ard.