beverage (n.)
mid-13c., from Anglo-French beverage, Old French bevrage, from Old French boivre "to drink" (Modern French boire; from Latin bibere "to imbibe;" see imbibe) + -age, suffix forming mass or abstract nouns.
Beverly Hills
city in southern California, U.S., named 1911, earlier Beverly (1907), named for Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, summer home of U.S. President Taft, which ultimately is named for the Yorkshire town Beverly, which means, in Old English, "beaver lodge."
bevy (n.)
early 15c., collective noun of quails and ladies, from Anglo-French bevée, of unknown origin. One supposed definition of the word is "a drinking bout," but this is perhaps a misprint of bever, from Old French beivre (see beverage). Still, it's possible that the original sense could be a company of birds gathered at a puddle or pool for drinking or bathing.
bewail (v.)
c.1300, from be- + wail (v.). Related: Bewailed; bewailing.
beware (v.)
c.1200, probably from a conflation of be ware (though the compound bewarian "defend" existed in Old English). See ware (v.).
beweep (v.)
Old English bewepan, cognate with Old Frisian biwepa, Old Saxon biwopian; see be- + weep. Related: Bewept.
bewig (v.)
1714, from be- + wig. Related: Bewigged; bewigging.
bewilder (v.)
1680s, from be- "thoroughly" + archaic wilder "lead astray, lure into the wilds," probably a back-formation of wilderness. An earlier word with the same sense was bewhape (early 14c.). Related: Bewildered; bewildering; bewilderingly.
bewildered (adj.)
1680s, past participle adjective from bewilder (q.v.).
bewilderment (n.)
1820, "condition of being bewildered," from bewilder + -ment; meaning "thing or situation which bewilders" is from 1844.
bewitch (v.)
c.1200, biwicchen, from be- + Old English wiccian "to enchant, to practice witchcraft" (see witch). Literal at first, figurative sense of "to fascinate" is from 1520s. *Bewiccian may well have existed in Old English, but it is not attested. Related: Bewitched; bewitching; bewitchingly.
bewitched (adj.)
late 14c. in the literal sense, past participle adjective from bewitch; figurative use from 1570s.
bewray (v.)
"to reveal, expose," c.1300, from be- + wray. "Probably more or less of a conscious archaism since the 17th c." [OED] Related: Bewrayed; bewraying.
bey (n.)
"governor of a Turkish district," 1590s, from Turkish bey, a title of honor, the Osmanli equivalent of Turkish beg.
beyond (prep.)
Old English begeondan "beyond, from the farther side," from be- "by," here probably indicating position, + geond "yonder" (prep.); see yond. A compound not found elsewhere in Germanic.
bezant (n.)
gold coin, c.1200, from Old French besant (12c.), from Latin byzantius, short for Byzantius nummus "coin of Byzantium."
bezel (n.)
1610s, "sloping edge," also "groove in which a stone is set," from Old French *besel (13c.; Modern French biseau), cognate with Spanish bisel; of uncertain origin, perhaps literally "a stone with two angles," from Vulgar Latin *bis-alus, from bis- "twice" (see bis-) + ala "wing, side" (see alar). Meaning "oblique face of a gem" is from c.1840. The verb meaning "grind (a tool) down to an edge" is from 1670s.
bezique (n.)
card game, 1861, from French bézigue (19c.), of unknown origin.
bezoar (n.)
late 15c., ultimately from Arabic bazahr, from Persian pad-zahr "counter-poison," from pad "protecting, guardian, master" (from Iranian *patar-, source also of Avestan patar-, from PIE *pa-tor-, from root *pa- "to protect, feed;" see food) + zahr "poison" (from Old Iranian *jathra, from PIE *gwhn-tro-, from root *gwhen- "to strike, kill;" see bane). Originally "antidote," later specifically in reference to a concoction from solid matter found in the stomachs and intestines of ruminants, which was held to have antidotal qualities (1570s).
Bhagavad-Gita (n.)
dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna inserted in Mahabharata, from Sanskrit, "Song of the Sublime One," from Bhaga, a god of wealth, from Sanskrit bhagah, literally "allotter, distributor, master, lord," from bhajati "assigns, allots, apportions, enjoys, loves" (related to Avestan baga, Old Persian baga "master, lord, god") + gita "song," fem. past participle of gayate "sings, calls," from PIE root *gei- "to sing" (cognates: Avestan gatha "song," Lithuanian giedoti "to sing").
bhang (n.)
1590s, from Hindi bhang "narcotic from hemp," from Sanskrit bhangah "hemp." Perhaps cognate with Russian penika "hemp." The word first appears in Western Europe in Portuguese (1560s).
bi (adj.)
1956 as a colloquial abbreviation of bisexual.
bi-
word-forming element meaning "two, twice, double, doubly, once every two," etc., from Latin bi- "twice, double," from Old Latin dvi- (cognate with Sanskrit dvi-, Greek di-, Old English twi- "twice, double"), from PIE root *dwo- "two." Nativized from 16c. Occasionally bin- before vowels; this form originated in French, not Latin, and might be partly based on or influenced by Latin bini "twofold" (see binary).
bialy (n.)
bagel with onion flakes sprinkled on it, by 1936, ultimately short for Białystok, city in modern Poland. The city name is literally "white river," from Polish biały "white" + stok "river" (the Bialy River flows through the region).
Bianca
fem. proper name, from Italian, literally fem. of bianco "white" (see blank (adj.)). A doublet of French Blanche.
biangular (adj.)
also bi-angular, by 1770; see bi- + angular.
biannual (adj.)
also bi-annual; "occurring every six months, twice a year," 1837, from bi- + annual. Related: Biannually; bi-annually.
bias (n.)
1520s, from French biais "slant, slope, oblique," also figuratively, "expedient, means" (13c., originally in Old French a past participle adjective, "sideways, askance, against the grain"), of unknown origin, probably from Old Provençal biais, with cognates in Old Catalan and Sardinian; possibly from Vulgar Latin *(e)bigassius, from Greek epikarsios "athwart, crosswise, at an angle," from epi- "upon" + karsios "oblique," from PIE *krs-yo-, from root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)). It became a noun in Old French. "[A] technical term in the game of bowls, whence come all the later uses of the word" [OED]. Transferred sense of "predisposition, prejudice" is from 1570s in English.
For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding. [Francis Bacon, "Novum Organum," 1620]
bias (v.)
1620s, literal and figurative, from bias (n.). Related: Biased; biasing.
biased (adj.)
1610s in reference to bowling, 1660s in reference to persons; past participle adjective from bias (v.).
biathlon (n.)
1956, from bi- + Greek athlon "contest," abstracted from pentathlon.
biaxial (adj.)
also bi-axial, 1833; see bi- + axial.
bib (n.)
linen worn over the breast while eating, 1570s, from verb bibben "to drink" (late 14c.), imitative of lip sounds, or else from Latin bibere (see imbibe), but difficult now to say whether this is because it was worn while drinking or because it "soaked up" spills.
bibber (n.)
"drinker, tippler," 1530s, from Middle English bib (v.) "to drink heartily" (see bib (n.)).
bibelot (n.)
"small curio," 1873, from French bibelot "knick-knack," from Old French beubelet "trinket, jewel" (12c.), from belbel "plaything," a reduplication of bel "pretty."
bibitory (adj.)
"pertaining to drinking," 1690s, from Modern Latin bibitorius, from Late Latin bibitor "drinker, toper," from bibere "to drink" (see imbibe).
Bible (n.)
early 14c., from Anglo-Latin biblia, Old French bible (13c.) "the Bible," also any large book generally, from Medieval and Late Latin biblia (neuter plural interpreted as feminine singular), in phrase biblia sacra "holy books," a translation of Greek ta biblia to hagia "the holy books," from Greek biblion "paper, scroll," the ordinary word for "book," originally a diminutive of byblos "Egyptian papyrus," possibly so called from Byblos (modern Jebeil, Lebanon), the name of the Phoenician port from which Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece (compare parchment). Or the place name might be from the Greek word, which then would be probably of Egyptian origin. The Christian scripture was referred to in Greek as Ta Biblia as early as c.223. Bible replaced Old English biblioðece (see bibliothek) as the ordinary word for "the Scriptures." Figurative sense of "any authoritative book" is from 1804.
Walter Scott and Pope's Homer were reading of my own election, but my mother forced me, by steady daily toil, to learn long chapters of the Bible by heart; as well as to read it every syllable through, aloud, hard names and all, from Genesis to the Apocalypse, about once a year; and to that discipline -- patient, accurate, and resolute -- I owe, not only a knowledge of the book, which I find occasionally serviceable, but much of my general power of taking pains, and the best part of my taste in literature. ... [O]nce knowing the 32nd of Deuteronomy, the 119th Psalm, the 15th of 1st Corinthians, the Sermon on the Mount, and most of the Apocalypse, every syllable by heart, and having always a way of thinking with myself what words meant, it was not possible for me, even in the foolishest times of youth, to write entirely superficial or formal English .... [John Ruskin, "Fors Clavigera," 1871]
Bible Belt (n.)
1926, reputedly coined by H.L. Mencken.
Bible-thumper (n.)
"strict Christian," by 1843.
biblical (adj.)
1790, from Bible + -ical. Related: Biblically. Earlier adjective was Biblic (1680s).
biblico-
word-forming element meaning "biblical," from comb. form of Medieval Latin biblicus, from biblia (see bible).
biblio-
word-forming element meaning "book" or sometimes "Bible," from Greek biblio-, comb. form of biblion "book" (see Bible).
bibliographer (n.)
1650s, from Greek bibliographos "writer of books, transcriber, copyist," related to bibliographia (see bibliography).
bibliographical (adj.)
1670s; see bibliography + -ical.
bibliography (n.)
1670s, "the writing of books," from Greek bibliographia "the writing of books," from biblio- + graphos "(something) drawn or written" (see -graphy). Sense of "a list of books that form the literature of a subject" is first attested 1869. Related: Bibliographic.
biblioklept (n.)
1881, from biblio- + Greek kleptes "thief" (see kleptomania). Walsh calls it "a modern euphemism which softens the ugly word book-thief by shrouding it in the mystery of the Greek language."
bibliolator (n.)
1820, perhaps first in Coleridge, from bibliolatry (q.v.).
bibliolatry (n.)
1763, "worship of books," from biblio- + -latry. Meaning "worship of the Bible" is from 1847.
bibliomancy (n.)
1753, "divination by opening a book (especially the Bible) at random," the first verse presenting itself being taken as a prognostication of future events, from biblio- + -mancy. In pagan times, Homer (sortes Homericae) and Virgil (sortes Virgilianae) were used.
bibliomania (n.)
1734, after French bibliomanie, from biblio- + mania.