Entries linking to embosom
word-forming element meaning "put in or into, bring to a certain state," sometimes intensive, from French assimilation of en- "in, into" (see en- (1)) to following labial stop (-b-, -p-, and often -m-), or from the same development in later Latin in- (to im-). "This rule was not fully established in spelling before the 17th c." [OED], but it is likely the pronunciation shift was in Old French and Middle English and spelling was slow to conform. Also a living prefix in English used to form verbs from adjectives and nouns (embitter, embody). In words such as emancipate, emerge, emit, emotion the e- is a reduced form of Latin ex- (see ex-) before -m-.
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"), which is 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.
updated on September 13, 2020