bib (n.) Look up bib at
linen worn over the breast, especially by children, to keep the front of the dress clean while eating, 1570s, from verb bibben "to drink" (late 14c.), which is perhaps imitative of lip sounds; or else [Skeat] it is from Latin bibere "to drink" (from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink"). If the latter, it is difficult now to say whether this is because it was worn while drinking or because it "soaked up" spills.
bibber (n.) Look up bibber at
"drinker, tippler," 1530s, from Middle English bibben (v.) "to drink heartily" (see bib (n.)).
bibelot (n.) Look up bibelot at
"small curio," 1873, from French bibelot "knick-knack," from Old French beubelet "trinket, jewel" (12c.), from belbel "plaything," a reduplication of bel "pretty" (see belle).
bibitory (adj.) Look up bibitory at
"pertaining to drinking," 1690s, from Modern Latin bibitorius, from Late Latin bibitor "drinker, toper," from Latin bibere "to drink" (from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink"). Bibacious "fond of drinking" is from 1670s.
Bible (n.) Look up Bible at
"the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments," early 14c., from Anglo-Latin biblia, Old French bible (13c.) "the Bible," also any large book generally, from Medieval and Late Latin biblia "the Bible" (neuter plural interpreted as feminine singular), from phrase biblia sacra "holy books," a translation of Greek ta biblia to hagia "the holy books." The Latin word is from the Greek one, biblion "paper, scroll," also the ordinary word for "a book as a division of a larger work;" see biblio-.

The Christian scripture was referred to in Greek as Ta Biblia as early as c. 223. Bible replaced Old English biblioðece (see bibliothec) as the ordinary word for "the Scriptures." Figurative sense of "any authoritative book" is from 1804. Bible-thumper "strict Christian" is from 1870. Bible belt in reference to the swath of the U.S. South then dominated by fundamentalist Christians is from 1926; likely coined by H.L. Mencken in the "American Mercury."
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]
biblical (adj.) Look up biblical at
1734, "pertaining to the Bible," from Bible + -ical. Related: Biblically. Earlier adjective was Biblic (1680s). Related: Biblicality.
biblico- Look up biblico- at
word-forming element meaning "biblical, biblical and," from comb. form of Medieval Latin biblicus, from biblia (see Bible).
biblio- Look up biblio- at
word-forming element meaning "book" or sometimes "Bible," from Greek biblion "paper, scroll," also the ordinary word for "a book as a division of a larger work;" originally a diminutive of byblos "Egyptian papyrus." This is perhaps from Byblos, the Phoenician port from which Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece (modern Jebeil, in Lebanon; for sense evolution compare parchment). Or the place name might be from the Greek word, which then would be probably of Egyptian origin. Compare Bible. Latin liber (see library) and English book also are ultimately from plant-words.
bibliographer (n.) Look up bibliographer at
1650s, "one who writes or copies books," from Greek bibliographos "writer of books, transcriber, copyist," related to bibliographia (see bibliography). From 1809 as "one who studies or writes about books."
bibliographical (adj.) Look up bibliographical at
1670s; see bibliography + -ical.
bibliography (n.) Look up bibliography at
1670s, "the writing of books," from Greek bibliographia "the writing of books," from biblion "book" (see biblio-) + graphos "(something) drawn or written" (see -graphy). Meaning "the study of books, authors, publications, etc.," is from 1803. Sense of "a list of books that form the literature of a subject" is first attested 1814. Related: Bibliographic.
biblioklept (n.) Look up biblioklept at
"one who steals books," 1880, from biblio- "book" + 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.) Look up bibliolator at
also bibliolater, "book-worshipper," 1820, perhaps first in Coleridge, from bibliolatry (q.v.). In later use, especially "one who regards the letter of the Bible with undue respect."
bibliolatry (n.) Look up bibliolatry at
1763, "worship of books," from biblio- "book" + -latry "worship." Meaning "worship of the Bible" is from 1847. Related: Bibliolatrist; bibliolatrous.
bibliology (n.) Look up bibliology at
"book-lore," 1804, from French bibliologie; see biblio- + -logy. By 1871 as "Biblical literature."
bibliomancy (n.) Look up bibliomancy at
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.) Look up bibliomania at
"book-madness, a rage for collecting rare or unusual books," 1734, after French bibliomanie, from biblio- "book" + mania.
bibliomaniac (n.) Look up bibliomaniac at
"one mad for books, an enthusiastic collector of rare or unusual books," 1811; see bibliomania. Earlier was bibliomane (1777), from French.
A bibliomaniac must be carefully distinguished from a bibliophile. The latter has not yet freed himself from the idea that books are meant to be read. [Walsh]
bibliopegy (n.) Look up bibliopegy at
"the art of book-binding," 1835, from biblio- "book" + Greek pegia, from pegnynai "to fasten, fix; make stiff or solid," from PIE root *pag- "to fasten." Related: Bibliopegic; bibliopegist.
bibliophile (n.) Look up bibliophile at
also bibliophil, "lover of books," 1824, from French bibliophile; see biblio- "book" + -phile "lover." Related: Bibliophilic; bibliophily.
bibliophobia (n.) Look up bibliophobia at
"dread or hatred of books," 1832, from biblio- "book" + -phobia. From late 18c. in German and Dutch. Related: Bibliophobic; bibliophobe.
bibliopole (n.) Look up bibliopole at
"bookseller," 1775, from Latin bibliopola, from Greek bibliopoles "bookseller," from biblion "book" (see biblio-) + poles "merchant, seller," from polein "to sell" (see monopoly). Especially a dealer in rare or curious books. French has bouquinist "a dealer in second-hand books of little value."
bibliothec (n.) Look up bibliothec at
also bibliothek, Old English biblioðece "the Bible, the Scriptures," from Latin bibliotheca "library, room for books; collection of books" (in Late Latin and Medieval Latin especially "the Bible"), from Greek bibliotheke, literally "book-repository," from biblion "book" (see biblio-) + theke "case, chest, sheath," from suffixed form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." Used of the Bible by Jerome and serving as the common Latin word for it until Biblia began to displace it 9c. (see Bible). The word was later reborrowed from French as bibliotheque (16c.).
bibliotheca (n.) Look up bibliotheca at
"the Bible," also "library, place to keep books;" see bibliothec.
bibliothecary (n.) Look up bibliothecary at
"librarian," 1610s, from Latin bibliothecarius "a librarian," noun use of an adjective, from bibliotheca "library, room for books; collection of books," from Greek bibliotheke, literally "book-repository," from biblion "book" (see biblio-) + theke "case, chest, sheath" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). An earlier form in English was bibliothecar (1580s), and compare bibliothec.
bibulous (adj.) Look up bibulous at
1670s, "spongy, absorbent," from Latin bibulus "drinking readily, given to drink;" of things, "absorbent; moistened," from bibere "to drink" (from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink"). Meaning "fond of drink" attested in English by 1861.
Bic (n.) Look up Bic at
popular type of plastic ball-point pen, designed c. 1950 in France, named 1953 as a shortened form of the name of company co-founder Marcel Bich (1914-1994).
bicameral (adj.) Look up bicameral at
"having two chambers," 1832; see bi- "two" + Late Latin camera "chamber" (see camera) + -al (1).
bicarbonate (n.) Look up bicarbonate at
1814, bi-carbonate of potash; see bi- + carbonate. Apparently coined by English chemist William Hyde Wollaston (1766-1828).
bice (n.) Look up bice at
"pale blue color," early 15c., shortened from blew bis "blue bice," from French bis "swarthy, brownish-gray" (12c.), a word of unknown origin, cognate with Italian bigio. Via French combinations azur bis, vert bis, names given to two dark colors used in painting, the word came into English with a sense of "blue" or "green."
bicentenary (adj.) Look up bicentenary at
"pertaining to a 200-year period," 1843; see bi- + centenary. Also see bicentennial. As a noun, "two-hundredth anniversary or celebration," from 1840.
bicentennial (adj.) Look up bicentennial at
also bi-centennial, "occurring every two-hundred years," 1843, American English; see bi- + centennial (q.v.). In rivalry with bicentenary (1840) which seems to have been the more common word in Britain. From 1871 as a noun, "the two-hundredth anniversary of an event."
bicep (n.) Look up bicep at
false singular of biceps (q.v.).
bicephalous (adj.) Look up bicephalous at
"having two heads," 1803, a hybrid from bi- + Latinized adjectival form of Greek kephale "head" (see cephalo-) -ous. Bicephalic in the same sense is by 1863.
biceps Look up biceps at
1630s (adj.) "two-headed," specifically in anatomy, "having two distinct origins," from Latin biceps "having two parts," literally "two-headed," from bis "double" (see bis-) + -ceps, combining form of caput "head" (see capitulum). As a noun meaning "biceps muscle of the arm," from 1640s, so called for its structure. Despite the -s, it is singular, and classicists insist there is no such word as bicep.
bicipital (adj.) Look up bicipital at
"having two heads," 1640s, from Latin biceps (genitive bicipitis; see biceps) + -al (1).
bicker (v.) Look up bicker at
early 14c., bikere, "to skirmish, fight," perhaps from Middle Dutch bicken "to slash, stab, attack," + -er, Middle English frequentative suffix (as in blabber, hover, patter). Meaning "to quarrel, petulantly contend with words" is from mid-15c. Meaning "make a noisy, repeated clatter" is from 1748. Related: Bickered; bickering.
bicker (n.) Look up bicker at
c. 1300, "a skirmish, a confused battle;" from the same source as bicker (v.). In modern use, often to describe the sound of a flight of an arrow or other repeated, loud, rapid sounds, in which sense it is perhaps at least partly echoic.
bickering (n.) Look up bickering at
c. 1300, "a skirmish," verbal noun from bicker (v.). Meaning "a verbal wrangle" is from 1570s.
bickering (adj.) Look up bickering at
1808 in the sense of "contentious," present-participle adjective from bicker (v.). Earlier it was used to mean "flashing, quivering" (1660s).
bicoastal (adj.) Look up bicoastal at
also bi-coastal, by 1977 in reference to the East and West coasts of the U.S. (or, specifically, New York and Los Angeles); from bi- + coastal.
bicuspid (adj.) Look up bicuspid at
1826, "having two parts," from bi- "two" + Latin cuspidem "cusp, point," which is of unknown origin. As a noun, short for bicuspid molar, attested from 1837.
bicycle (n.) Look up bicycle at
1868, from bi- "two" + Greek kyklos "circle, wheel" (see cycle (n.)), on the pattern of tricycle; both the word and the vehicle superseding earlier velocipede.

The English word probably is not from French, though often said to be (many French sources say the French word is from English). The assumption apparently is because Pierre Lallement, employee of a French carriage works, improved Macmillan's 1839 pedal velocipede in 1865 and took the invention to America. See also pennyfarthing. As a verb, from 1869.
The velocipede of 1869 was worked by treadles operating cranks on the axle oi the front wheel. This was modified in the earliest form of the bicycle by greatly increasing the relative size of the driving-wheel and bringing the rider directly over it. Later the "safety" bicycle was introduced, in which the wheels were made of equal or nearly equal size, and for the direct action upon the front wheel was substituted indirect action upon the rear wheel, by means of a chain and sprocket-wheels .... [Century Dictionary]
bicycling (n.) Look up bicycling at
1869, verbal noun from bicycle (v.); see bicycle (n.).
bicyclist (n.) Look up bicyclist at
1869, from bicycle + -ist.
bid (v.) Look up bid at
probably an early Middle English mutual influence or confusion of two old words: The sense in bid farewell is from Old English biddan "to ask, entreat, beg, pray, beseech; order" (class V strong verb, past tense bæd, past participle beden), from Proto-Germanic *bidjan "to pray, entreat" (source also of German bitten "to ask," attested in Old High German from 8c., also Old Saxon bidjan, Old Frisian bidda, Old Norse biðja, Gothic bidjan). This, according to Kluge and Watkins, is from a PIE root *gwhedh- "to ask, pray" (see bead (n.)).

To bid at an auction, meanwhile, is from Old English beodan "offer, proclaim" (class II strong verb; past tense bead, past participle boden), from Proto-Germanic *beudan "to stretch out, reach out, offer, present," (source also of German bieten "to offer," Old High German biatan, also Old Saxon biodan, Old Frisian biada, Old Norse bjoða, Gothic anabiudan "to command"). This is from PIE root *bheudh- "be aware, make aware" (source also of bode (v.)).
bid (n.) Look up bid at
1788, "an offer of a price," from bid (v.). From 1880 in card-playing.
bidden Look up bidden at
past participle of bid and bide.
biddy (n.) Look up biddy at
"old woman," 1785; meaning "Irish female domestic servant" (1861) is American English; both from Biddy, pet form of common Irish fem. proper name Bridget.
bide (v.) Look up bide at
Old English bidan "to stay, continue, live, remain," also "to trust, rely," from Proto-Germanic *bidan "to await" (source also of Old Norse biða, Old Saxon bidan, Old Frisian bidia, Middle Dutch biden, Old High German bitan, Gothic beidan "to wait"), which is of uncertain origin. Possibly from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade" (via notion of "to await trustingly"). Preserved in Scotland and northern England, replaced elsewhere by abide in all senses except in expression bide (one's) time (c. 1840). Related: Bided; biding.