brown-nose (v.) Look up brown-nose at Dictionary.com
also brownnose, 1939, American English colloquial, said to be military slang originally, from brown (adj.) + nose (n.), "from the implication that servility is tantamount to having one's nose in the anus of the person from whom advancement is sought" [Webster, 1961]. Related: Brown-noser, brown-nosing (both 1950).
brownfield (n.) Look up brownfield at Dictionary.com
abandoned or disused industrial land, often contaminated to some degree, 1992, American English, from brown (adj.) + field (n.).
Brownian movement (n.) Look up Brownian movement at Dictionary.com
1871, for Scottish scientist Dr. Robert Brown (1773-1858), who first described it.
brownie (n.) Look up brownie at Dictionary.com
"benevolent goblin supposed to haunt old farmhouses in Scotland," 1510s, diminutive of brown "a wee brown man" (see brown (adj.)). The name for the junior branch of the Girl Guides or Girl Scouts is 1916, in reference to uniform color. Brownie point (1963) is sometimes associated with Brownie in the Scouting sense but is perhaps rather from brown-nose.
Browning Look up Browning at Dictionary.com
one of a range of U.S.-made weapons, 1905, named for inventor, John M. Browning (1855-1926) of Utah.
brownstone (n.) Look up brownstone at Dictionary.com
"dark sandstone," 1858, from brown (adj.) + stone (n.). As "house or building fronted with brownstone" from 1948.
browse (v.) Look up browse at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "feed on buds," from Middle French brouster, from Old French broster "to sprout, bud," from brost "young shoot, twig," probably from Proto-Germanic *brust- "bud, shoot," from PIE *bhreus- "to swell, sprout" (see breast (n.)). Lost its final -t in English on the mistaken notion that the letter was a past participle inflection. Figurative extension to "peruse" (books) is 1870s, American English. Related: Browsed; browsing.
browser (n.) Look up browser at Dictionary.com
1845, "animal which browses," agent noun from browse (v.). In the computer sense by 1982.
The first browser was invented at PARC by Larry Tesler, now a designer at Apple Computer. Tesler's first Smalltalk browser was a tree-structured device. It enabled programmers to hunt quickly for items in a Smalltalk dictionary. ["InfoWorld" magazine, vol. v, no. 4, Jan. 24, 1983]
Bruce Look up Bruce at Dictionary.com
a Norman surname, but etymology from Brix (place in La Manche, Normandy) is now considered doubtful ["Dictionary of English Surnames"]. Originated in Britain with Robert de Bruis, a baron listed in the Domesday Book. His son, a friend of David I, king of Scotland, was granted by him in 1124 the lordship of Annandale, and David's son, Robert, founded the Scottish House of Bruce. As a given name for U.S. males, most popular for boys born c. 1946-1954.
brucellosis (n.) Look up brucellosis at Dictionary.com
1930, Modern Latin, named for Scottish physician Sir David Bruce (1855-1931), who discovered the bacteria that caused it (1887).
bruin (n.) Look up bruin at Dictionary.com
"bear," late 15c., from Middle Dutch Bruin, name of the bear in "Reynard the Fox" fables; literally "brown;" cognate with Old English brun (see brown (adj.)).
bruise (n.) Look up bruise at Dictionary.com
1540s, from bruise (v.).
bruise (v.) Look up bruise at Dictionary.com
Old English brysan "to crush, bruise, pound," from Proto-Germanic *brusjan, from PIE root *bhreu- "to smash, cut, break up" (source also of Old Irish bronnaim "I wrong, I hurt;" Breton brezel "war," Vulgar Latin brisare "to break"). Merged by 17c. with Anglo-French bruiser "to break, smash," from Old French bruisier "to break, shatter," perhaps from Gaulish *brus-, from the same PIE root. Related: Bruised; bruising.
bruiser (n.) Look up bruiser at Dictionary.com
"a pugilist," 1744, agent noun from bruise (v.).
bruit (v.) Look up bruit at Dictionary.com
"to report," 1520s, from bruit (n.) "rumor, tiding, fame, renown" (mid-15c.), from French bruit (n.), from bruire "to make noise, roar," which is of uncertain origin. Related: Bruited; bruiting.
brulee (adj.) Look up brulee at Dictionary.com
from French brûlée "burned," from brûler, from Old French brusler (11c.); see broil (v.1). Crème brûlée was known in English by various names from early 18c., including a translated burnt cream.
brumal (adj.) Look up brumal at Dictionary.com
"belonging to winter," 1510s, from Latin brumalis, from bruma "winter" (see brume). The Latin word also is the ultimate source of Brumaire, second month (Oct. 22-Nov. 20) in calendar of the French Republic, literally "the foggy month," coined 1793 by Fabre d'Eglantine from French brume "fog" (see brume).
brume (n.) Look up brume at Dictionary.com
"fog, mist," 1808, from French brume "fog" (14c.), in Old French, "wintertime," from Latin bruma "winter," perhaps with an original sense "season of the shortest day," from *brevima, contracted from brevissima, superlative of brevis "short" (see brief (adj.)).
brummagem (adj.) Look up brummagem at Dictionary.com
"cheap and showy," 19c., from a noun, from the vulgar pronunciation of Birmingham, England, in reference to articles mass-manufactured there. The word also recalls Birmingham's old reputation for counterfeiting.
brunch Look up brunch at Dictionary.com
1896, British student slang merger of breakfast and lunch.
To be fashionable nowadays we must 'brunch'. Truly an excellent portmanteau word, introduced, by the way, last year, by Mr. Guy Beringer, in the now defunct Hunter's Weekly, and indicating a combined breakfast and lunch. ["Punch," Aug. 1, 1896]
brunet (n.) Look up brunet at Dictionary.com
"dark-complexioned person," 1887, from French brunet, diminutive of brun "brown," which is from a Germanic source (see brown (adj.)).
brunette (adj.) Look up brunette at Dictionary.com
1660s, from French brunette (masc. brunet), from Old French brunet "brownish, brown-haired, dark-complexioned," fem. diminutive of brun "brown" (12c.), of West Germanic origin (see brown (adj.)). As a noun, "woman of a dark complexion," from 1710. The metathesized form, Old French burnete, is the source of the surname Burnett. Burnete also was used of a wool-dyed cloth of superior quality, originally dark brown.
brung Look up brung at Dictionary.com
dialectal past tense and past participle of bring (v.).
Bruno Look up Bruno at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Old High German Bruno, literally "brown" (see brown (adj.)).
brunt (n.) Look up brunt at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "a sharp blow," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old Norse brundr "sexual heat," or bruna "to advance like wildfire." Meaning "chief force" is first attested 1570s.
brush (v.1) Look up brush at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "to clean or rub (clothing) with a brush," also (mid-15c.) "to beat with a brush," from brush (n.1). Related: Brushed; brushing. To brush off someone or something, "rebuff, dismiss," is from 1941.
brush (v.2) Look up brush at Dictionary.com
"move briskly" especially past or against something or someone, 1670s, from earlier sense (c. 1400) "to hasten, rush," probably from brush (n.2), on the notion of a horse, etc., passing through dense undergrowth (compare Old French brosser "travel (through woods)," and Middle English noun brush "charge, onslaught, encounter," mid-14c.), but brush (n.1) probably has contributed something to it as well. Related: Brushed; brushing.
brush (n.1) Look up brush at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "dust-sweeper, a brush for sweeping," also, c. 1400, "brushwood, brushes;" from Old French broisse (Modern French brosse) "a brush" (13c.), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscia "a bunch of new shoots" (used to sweep away dust), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *bruskaz "underbrush."
brush (n.2) Look up brush at Dictionary.com
"shrubbery," early 14c., from Anglo-French bruce "brushwood," Old North French broche, Old French broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Modern French brosse), from Gallo-Roman *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (n.1).
brushfire (n.) Look up brushfire at Dictionary.com
1850, from brush (n.2) + fire (n.).
brusque (adj.) Look up brusque at Dictionary.com
1650s, from French brusque "lively, fierce," from Italian adjective brusco "sharp, tart, rough," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscum "butcher's broom plant," from Late Latin brucus "heather," from Gaulish *bruko- (compare Breton brug "heath," Old Irish froech).
Brussels Look up Brussels at Dictionary.com
capital of old Brabant, now of Belgium, of Germanic origin, from brocca "marsh" + sali "room, building," from Latin cella (see cell). It arose 6c. as a fortress on an island in a river. As a type of carpet, from 1799; as a type of lace, from 1748. Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera) attested from 1748 (first written description is from 1580s).
brut (adj.) Look up brut at Dictionary.com
"dry," 1891, used of wines, especially champagnes, from French brut (14c.), literally "raw, crude" (see brute).
brutal (adj.) Look up brutal at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., in reference to the nature of animals, from Latin brutus (see brute (adj.)) + -al (1). Of persons, "fierce," 1640s. Related: Brutally.
brutality (n.) Look up brutality at Dictionary.com
1630s, "savage cruelty, inhuman behavior," from brutal + -ity. Literal sense "condition or state of a brute" is from 1711.
brute (n.) Look up brute at Dictionary.com
1610s, from brute (adj.).
brute (adj.) Look up brute at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "of or belonging to animals," from Middle French brut "coarse, brutal, raw, crude," from Latin brutus "heavy, dull, stupid," said to be an Oscan word, from PIE *gwruto-, suffixed form of root *gwere- (2) "heavy." Before reaching English the meaning expanded to "of the lower animals." Used of human beings from 1530s.
brutish (adj.) Look up brutish at Dictionary.com
1530s, "pertaining to animals," from brute (n.) + -ish. In reference to human brutes, from 1550s. Related: Brutishly; brutishness.
Brutus Look up Brutus at Dictionary.com
A surname of the Junian gens. Association with betrayal traces to Marcus Junius Brutus (c. 85 B.C.E.-42 B.C.E.), Roman statesman and general and conspirator against Caesar.
bruxism (n.) Look up bruxism at Dictionary.com
"grinding the teeth unconsciously," from Greek ebryxa, aorist root of brykein "to gnash the teeth."
bryo- Look up bryo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "moss" in scientific compounds, from Greek bryos, bryon "moss."
bryophyte (n.) Look up bryophyte at Dictionary.com
from Modern Latin Bryophyta (1864), from bryo- "moss" + -phyte "plant" (n.).
Brythonic (adj.) Look up Brythonic at Dictionary.com
"of the Britons, Welsh," 1884, from Welsh Brython, cognate with Latin Britto (see Briton). Introduced by Welsh Celtic scholar Professor John Rhys (1840-1915) to avoid the confusion of using Briton/British with reference to ancient peoples, religions, and languages.
BS (n.) Look up BS at Dictionary.com
c. 1900, slang abbreviation of bullshit (q.v.).
btw Look up btw at Dictionary.com
internet abbreviation of by the way, in use by 1989.
bub (n.) Look up bub at Dictionary.com
familiar address for males, 1839, perhaps a variation of bud "a little boy" (1848), American English colloquial; perhaps from German bube "boy," or from English brother.
bubba (n.) Look up bubba at Dictionary.com
Southern U.S. slang, 1860s, a corruption of brother.
bubble (v.) Look up bubble at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., perhaps from bubble (n.) and/or from Middle Low German bubbeln (v.), probably of echoic origin. Related: Bubbled; bubbling.
bubble (n.) Look up bubble at Dictionary.com
early 14c., perhaps from Middle Dutch bobbel (n.) and/or Middle Low German bubbeln (v.), all probably of echoic origin. Bubble bath first recorded 1949. Of financial schemes originally in South Sea Bubble (1590s), on notion of "fragile and insubstantial."
bubble-gum (n.) Look up bubble-gum at Dictionary.com
1937, from bubble (n.) + gum (n.). Figurative of young teenager tastes or culture from the early 1960s.