"distort, warp, bend out of shape" 1520s, bokelen "to arch the body," from French boucler "to bulge," from Old French bocler "to bulge," from bocle "boss of a shield" (see buckle (n.)). Meaning "to bend under strong pressure" is from 1590s (figurative from 1640s) . Related: Buckled; buckling.
"hub of a cart-wheel," Middle English, from Old English nafa, nafu, from Proto-Germanic *nabo- (source also of Old Saxon naba, Old Norse nöf, Middle Dutch nave, Dutch naaf, Old High German naba, German Nabe), perhaps connected with the root of navel on notion of centrality (compare Latin umbilicus "navel," also "the end of a roller of a scroll;" Greek omphalos "navel," also "the boss of a shield").
a jocular word for "great man, boss, important person," 1832, American English (originally New England), from Algonquian (Natick) mugquomp "important person" (derived from mugumquomp "war leader"). By 1840 it was in satirical use as "one who thinks himself important." It was revived from 1884 in reference to Republicans who refused to support James G. Blaine's presidential candidacy, originally as a term of abuse but the independents embraced it. Hence "one who holds himself aloof from party politics."
Sense of "written statement detailing articles sold or services rendered by one person to another" is from c. 1400; that of "order addressed to one person to pay another" is from 1570s. Meaning "paper intended to give public notice of something, exhibited in a public place" is from late 15c. Sense of "paper money, bank-note" is from 1660s. Meaning "draft of a proposed statute presented to a legislature" is from 1510s.
"solid center of a wheel," 1640s, of uncertain origin, perhaps, if all the senses are in fact the same word, from hubbe, originally probably "lump, round protuberance, boss," the source of the hob of a fireplace and the hobnail of a boot. A wheelwright's word, not generally known or used until c. 1828; it reached wider currency with the vogue for bicycling. Meaning "center of interest or activity or importance" first recorded 1858 in writings of Oliver W. Holmes, and originally especially of Boston.
Boston State-House is the hub of the solar system. [Holmes, "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"]
[E]verybody knows that Boston used to be called the Hub, meaning the hub of the universe. It may still be the hub, because the center of a wheel moves slowly. [J.P. Marquand, Life magazine, March 24, 1941]
mid-13c., pomel, "ornamental knob or ball, decorative boss;" c. 1300, "knob at the end of the handle of a sword hilt or the grip of a dagger," from Old French pomel (12c., Modern French pommeau), "rounded knob," diminutive of pom "hilt of a sword," and directly from Medieval Latin pomellum, diminutive of Latin pomum "apple" (see Pomona), the connecting notion being "roundness." It serves to keep the hand from slipping and for striking a heavy blow at an adversary too close for the sweep of the weapon.
The sense of "front peak of a saddle" is recorded from mid-15c. In 15c.-16c. poetry it also sometimes meant "a woman's breast." The gymnast's pommel horse "vaulting horse" is so called by 1908, for the removable handles, which resemble pommels of a saddle (and were called pommels by 1887).