bort (n.) Look up bort at Dictionary.com
"waste diamonds, small chips from diamond-cutting," of unknown origin, perhaps related to Old French bort "bastard."
borzoi (n.) Look up borzoi at Dictionary.com
Russian wolfhound, 1887, from Russian borzoy, literally "swift, quick" (compare Czech brzy, Serbo-Croatian brzo "quickly," Lithuanian bruzdeti "to hurry").
bose (n.) Look up bose at Dictionary.com
"to seek for hollows underground by ramming the ground and observing the vibrations," 1929, ultimately from Scottish word boss "hollow, empty" (1510s), earlier a noun meaning "small cask, wine flask" (late 14c.).
bosh (n.) Look up bosh at Dictionary.com
"empty talk, nonsense," 1834, from Turkish, literally "empty." Introduced in "Ayesha," popular romance novel by J.J. Morier (1780-1849).
Bosnia Look up Bosnia at Dictionary.com
named for the River Bosna, which is perhaps from an Indo-European root *bhog- "current." As a name or adjective for someone there, Bosnian (1788) is older in English than Bosniac (1836, from Russian Bosnyak).
bosom (n.) Look up bosom at Dictionary.com
Old English bosm "breast; womb; surface; ship's hold," from West Germanic *bosm- (cognates: Old Frisian bosm, Old Saxon bosom, Middle Dutch boesem, Dutch boezem, Old High German buosam, German Busen "bosom, breast"), perhaps from PIE root *bhou- "to grow, swell," or *bhaghus "arm" (in which case the primary notion would be "enclosure formed by the breast and the arms"). Narrowed meaning "a woman's breasts" is from 1959; but bosomy "big-breasted" is from 1928. Bosom-friend is attested 1580s; bosom buddy from 1920s.
boson (n.) Look up boson at Dictionary.com
class of subatomic particles, named for Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974) + subatomic particle suffix -on.
boss (n.1) Look up boss at Dictionary.com
"overseer," 1640s, American English, from Dutch baas "a master," Middle Dutch baes, of obscure origin. If original sense was "uncle," perhaps it is related to Old High German basa "aunt," but some sources discount this theory. The Dutch form baas is attested in English from 1620s as the standard title of a Dutch ship's captain. The word's popularity in U.S. may reflect egalitarian avoidance of master (n.) as well as the need to distinguish slave from free labor. The slang adjective meaning "excellent" is recorded in 1880s, revived, apparently independently, in teen and jazz slang in 1950s.
boss (n.2) Look up boss at Dictionary.com
"protuberance, button," c.1300, from Old French boce "a hump, swelling, tumor" (12c., Modern French bosse), from either Frankish *botija or Vulgar Latin *bottia, both of uncertain origin.
boss (v.) Look up boss at Dictionary.com
1856, from boss (n.1). Related: Bossed; bossing.
bossa nova Look up bossa nova at Dictionary.com
1962, Brazilian style of music, from Portuguese, literally "new tendency."
bossy (adj.) Look up bossy at Dictionary.com
1540s, "swelling, projecting and rounded, decorated with bosses" from boss (n.2). Meaning "domineering, fond of ordering people about" is recorded 1882, from boss (n.1) + -y (2). As a common cow name it represents Latin bos "cow" (see cow (n.)).
Boston Look up Boston at Dictionary.com
U.S. city, 1630, named for town in Lincolnshire, a region from which many settlers came to New England. The name is said to be literally "Botolph's Stone," probably from the name of some Anglo-Saxon landowner (Old English Botwulf). Boston Massacre was March 5, 1770; three civilians killed, two mortally wounded. Card game Boston (1800) is based on the siege of Boston during the American Revolution. The Boston Tea Party (1824) took place on Dec. 16, 1773 (see tea party).
bot (n.) Look up bot at Dictionary.com
in Internet sense, c.2000, short for robot. Its modern use has curious affinities with earlier uses, such as "parasitical worm or maggot" (1520s), of unknown origin; and Australian-New Zealand slang "worthless, troublesome person" (World War I-era). The method of minting new slang by clipping the heads off words does not seem to be old or widespread in English. Examples (za from pizza, zels from pretzels, rents from parents) are American English student or teen slang and seem to date back no further than late 1960s.
botanic (adj.) Look up botanic at Dictionary.com
1650s, from French botanique (17c.) or directly from Medieval Latin botanicus, from Greek botanikos "of herbs," from botane "a plant, grass, pasture, fodder." The Greek words seems to have more to do with pasturage than plants; compare related botamia "pastures, meadows," boter "herdsman," boton "grazing beast."
botanical (adj.) Look up botanical at Dictionary.com
1650s, from botanic + -al. Related: Botanically.
botanist (n.) Look up botanist at Dictionary.com
1680s; see botany + -ist.
botany (n.) Look up botany at Dictionary.com
1690s, from botanic. The -y is from astronomy, etc. Botany Bay so called by Capt. Cook on account of the great variety of plants found there.
botch (v.) Look up botch at Dictionary.com
late 14c., bocchen "to repair," later, "to spoil by unskillful work" (1520s); of unknown origin. Related: Botched; botching. As a noun from c.1600.
both (adj., pron.) Look up both at Dictionary.com
there are several theories, all similar, and deriving the word from the tendency to say "both the." One is that it is Old English begen (masc.) "both" (from Proto-Germanic *ba, from PIE *bho "both") + extended base. Another traces it to the Proto-Germanic formula represented in Old English by ba þa "both these," from ba (feminine nominative and accusative of begen) + þa, nominative and accusative plural of se "that." A third traces it to Old Norse baðir "both," from *bai thaiz "both the," from Proto-Germanic *thaiz, third person plural pronoun. Compare similar formation in Old Frisian bethe, Dutch beide, Old High German beide, German beide, Gothic bajoþs.
bother (v.) Look up bother at Dictionary.com
1718, probably from Anglo-Irish pother, because its earliest use was by Irish writers Sheridan, Swift, Sterne. Perhaps from Irish bodhairim "I deafen." Related: Bothered; bothering. As a noun from 1803.
botheration (n.) Look up botheration at Dictionary.com
1797, noun of action from bother (v.).
bothersome (adj.) Look up bothersome at Dictionary.com
1817, from bother + -some (1).
botony (n.) Look up botony at Dictionary.com
1570s, in heraldry, from Old French botoné (Modern French boutonné) "covered with buds," past participle of boutonner "to bud," from bouton "bud, button," 12c., from a Germanic source.
Botox Look up Botox at Dictionary.com
a commercial name for botulinum toxin, and composed of elements from those words, approved in U.S. as a temporary cosmetic injection in 2002.
botryo- Look up botryo- at Dictionary.com
before vowels botry-, word-forming element meaning "cluster, cluster-like," from Greek botrys "cluster of grapes," of unknown origin.
bottle (n.) Look up bottle at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., originally of leather, from Old French boteille (12c., Modern French bouteille), from Vulgar Latin butticula, diminutive of Late Latin buttis "a cask," which is perhaps from Greek. The bottle, figurative for "liquor," is from 17c.
bottle (v.) Look up bottle at Dictionary.com
1640s, from bottle (n.). Related: Bottled; bottling.
bottleneck (n.) Look up bottleneck at Dictionary.com
also bttle-neck, "narrow entrance, spot where traffic becomes congested," 1896; from bottle (n.) + neck (n.). Meaning "anything which obstructs a flow" is from 1922; the verb in this sense is from 1928.
bottom (n.) Look up bottom at Dictionary.com
Old English botm, bodan "ground, soil, foundation, lowest part," from Proto-Germanic *buthm- (cognates: Old Frisian boden "soil," Old Norse botn, Dutch bodem, Old High German bodam, German Boden "ground, earth, soil"), from PIE root *bhu(n)d(h)- (cognates: Sanskrit budhnah, Avestan buna- "bottom," Greek pythmen "foundation," Latin fundus "bottom, piece of land, farm," Old Irish bond "sole of the foot"). Meaning "posterior of a person" is from 1794. Bottom dollar "the last dollar one has" is from 1882. Bottom-feeder, originally of fishes, is from 1866.
bottom (v.) Look up bottom at Dictionary.com
1540s, "to put a bottom on," from bottom (n.). Meaning "to reach the bottom of" is from 1808 (earlier figuratively, 1785). Related: Bottomed; bottoming.
bottom line (n.) Look up bottom line at Dictionary.com
figurative sense is attested from 1967, from profit and loss accounting, where the final figure after both are calculated is the bottom line on the page. Also (especially as an adjective) bottomline.
bottomless (adj.) Look up bottomless at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from bottom + -less.
botulism (n.) Look up botulism at Dictionary.com
1878, from German Botulismus (1878), coined in German from Latin botulus "sausage" (see bowel) + -ismus suffix of action or state (see -ism). Sickness first traced to eating tainted sausage (sausage poisoning was an old name for it).
bouche (n.) Look up bouche at Dictionary.com
French, literally "mouth" (Old French boche, 11c.), from Latin bucca, literally "cheek," which in Late Latin replaced os (see oral) as the word for "mouth" (and also is the source of Italian bocca, Spanish boca). Borrowed in English in various senses, such as "king's allowance of food for his retinue" (mid-15c.); "mouth" (1580s); "metal plug for a cannon's vent" (1862; verb in this sense from 1781).
boudoir (n.) Look up boudoir at Dictionary.com
1777, "room where a lady may retire to be alone," from French boudoir (18c.), literally "pouting room," from bouder "to pout, sulk," which, like pout, probably ultimately is imitative of puffing.
bouffant (adj.) Look up bouffant at Dictionary.com
1869, from French bouffant, present participle of bouffer "to puff out," from Old French bouffer (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *buffare, probably ultimately imitative of puffing. As a noun by 1870. Earlier as a French word in English. First used of hairdo style 1955.
bougainvillaea (n.) Look up bougainvillaea at Dictionary.com
see bougainvillea.
bougainvillea (n.) Look up bougainvillea at Dictionary.com
type of woody vine, 1866, named for French navigator Louis Bougainville (1729-1811).
bough (n.) Look up bough at Dictionary.com
Old English bog "shoulder, arm," extended in Old English to "twig, branch" (compare limb (n.1)), from Proto-Germanic *bogaz (cognates: Old Norse bogr "shoulder," Old High German buog, German Bug "shoulder, hock, joint"), from PIE *bhagus "elbow, forearm" (cognates: Sanskrit bahus "arm," Armenian bazuk, Greek pakhys "forearm"). The "limb of a tree" sense is peculiar to English.
bought Look up bought at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of buy (v.).
boughten (adj.) Look up boughten at Dictionary.com
irregular past participle of buy; as an adjective from 1793, especially in colloquial U.S. usage, of clothing and other items, opposed to "made."
BOUGHTEN. Which is bought. This is a common word in the interior of New England and New York. It is applied to articles purchased from the shops, to distinguish them from similar articles of home manufacture. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]
bougie (n.) Look up bougie at Dictionary.com
"wax candle," 1755, from French bougie "wax candle," from Bugia, Algeria, (Arabic Bijiyah), a town with a long-established wax trade.
bouillabaisse (n.) Look up bouillabaisse at Dictionary.com
fish stew, 1845, from French bouillabaisse (19c.), from Provençal bouiabaisso, boulh-abaisso, a compound of two verbs corresponding to English boil-abase (the latter in the original sense of "to lower").
bouillon (n.) Look up bouillon at Dictionary.com
1650s, from French bouillon (11c.), noun use of past participle of bouillir "to boil," from Old French bolir (see boil (v.)).
boulder (n.) Look up boulder at Dictionary.com
1670s, variant of Middle English bulder (c.1300), from a Scandinavian source akin to Swedish dialectal bullersten "noisy stone" (large stone in a stream, causing water to roar around it), from bullra "to roar" + sten "stone." Or the first element might be from *buller- "round object," from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE *bhel- (2) "to inflate, swell" (see bole).
boulevard (n.) Look up boulevard at Dictionary.com
1769, from French boulevard (15c.), originally "top surface of a military rampart," from a garbled attempt to adopt Middle Dutch bolwerc "wall of a fortification" (see bulwark) into French, which at that time lacked a -w- in its alphabet. The notion is of a promenade laid out atop demolished city walls, a way which would be much wider than urban streets. Originally in English with conscious echoes of Paris; since 1929, in U.S., used of multi-lane limited-access urban highways. Early French attempts to digest the Dutch word also include boloart, boulever, boloirque, bollvercq.
boulevardier (n.) Look up boulevardier at Dictionary.com
1856, French, "one who frequents the boulevard;" i.e.: man-about-town, one fond of urban living and society.
bounce (v.) Look up bounce at Dictionary.com
early 13c., bounsen "to thump, hit," perhaps from Dutch bonzen "to beat, thump," or Low German bunsen, or imitative; sense probably influenced by bound (v.). Sense of "to bounce like a ball" is from 1510s; the rubber check sense is from 1927. Related: Bounced; bouncing.
bounce (n.) Look up bounce at Dictionary.com
1520s, "a heavy blow," also "a leap, a rebound" from bounce (v.). In reference to politicians and public opinion polls, by 1996, American English.