Old English bosm "breast; womb; surface; ship's hold," from West Germanic *bōsmaz (source also of 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"), or possibly a word from a substrate language.
Bosoms in the narrowed or euphemistic meaning "a woman's breasts" is from 1959; bosomy "big-breasted" is from 1928 (earlier of rolling hills, etc.). Bosom-friend is attested 1580s; bosom buddy from 1924. Abraham's bosom "the abode of the blessed" is from Luke xvi.19-31.
It forms all or part of: compass; El Paso; expand; expanse; expansion; expansive; fathom; pace (n.); paella; pan (n.); pandiculation; pas; pass; passe; passim; passacaglia; passage; passenger; passport; paten; patent; patina; petal; spandrel; spawn.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek petannynai "to spread out," petalon "a leaf," patane "plate, dish;" Old Norse faðmr "embrace, bosom," Old English fæðm "embrace, bosom, fathom," Old Saxon fathmos "the outstretched arms."
late 14c., "profound depth," from Old French golf "a gulf, whirlpool," from Italian golfo "a gulf, a bay," from Late Latin colfos, from Greek kolpos "bay, gulf of the sea," earlier "trough between waves, fold of a loose garment," originally "bosom," the common notion being "curved shape." This is from PIE *kuolp- "arch, curve, vault" (compare Old English hwealf"vault," a-hwielfan "to overwhelm," Old Norse holfinn "vaulted," Old High German welban "to vault").
Latin sinus underwent the same development, being used first for "bosom," later for "gulf" (and in Medieval Latin, "hollow curve or cavity in the body"). The geographic sense "large tract of water extending into the land" (larger than a bay, smaller than a sea, but the distinction is not exact and not always observed) is in English from c. 1400, replacing Old English sæ-earm. Figurative sense of "a wide interval" is from 1550s. The U.S. Gulf States so called from 1836. The Gulf Stream (1775) takes its name from the Gulf of Mexico.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to gather."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit gramah "heap, troop;" Greek ageirein "to assemble," agora "assembly;" Latin grex "flock, herd," gremium "bosom, lap;" Old Church Slavonic grusti "handful," gramota "heap;" Lithuanian gurgulys "chaos, confusion," gurguolė "crowd, mass;" Old English crammian "press something into something else."
"deserving censure, blameworthy," late 13c., coupable, from Old French coupable (12c., Modern French coupable), from Latin culpabilis "worthy of blame," from culpare "to blame," from culpa "crime, fault, blame, guilt, error." De Vaan writes that this might be from a PIE root *kuolp- "to bend, turn" (source also of Greek kolpos "bosom, lap;" see gulf (n.)). According to his sources, "The original meaning of culpa is 'a state of error' rather than 'an error committed'." English (and for a time French) restored the first Latin -l- in later Middle Ages. Related: Culpably; culpableness.