bona fide Look up bona fide at
1540s, Latin, literally "in good faith," ablative of bona fides "good faith" (see faith). Originally used as an adverb, later (18c.) also as an adjective. The opposite is mala fide.
bona fides (n.) Look up bona fides at
by 1838, English pluralization of bona fide, as though it were a noun. Meaning "guarantees of good faith" is by 1945.
bonafide Look up bonafide at
see bona fide.
bonanza (n.) Look up bonanza at
1844, American English, from Spanish bonanza "a rich lode," originally "fair weather at sea, prosperity," from Vulgar Latin *bonacia, from Latin bonus "good" (see bonus).
bonbon (n.) Look up bonbon at
1796, from French bonbon (17c.), childish reduplication of bon "good," from Latin bonus "good" (see bonus). Hence, bonbonniere (1818) "a box for sweets."
bond (n.) Look up bond at
early 13c., "anything that binds," phonetic variant of band (n.1). For vowel change, see long (adj.); also influenced by Old English bonda "householder," literally "dweller" (see bondage). Legalistic sense first recorded 1590s.
bond (v.) Look up bond at
1670s (transitive), from bond (n.). Intransitive sense from 1836. Originally of things; of persons by 1969. Related: Bonded; bonding. Male bonding attested by 1969.
bondage (n.) Look up bondage at
c. 1300, "condition of a serf or slave," from Anglo-Latin bondagium, from Middle English bond "a serf, tenant farmer," from Old English bonda "householder," from Old Norse boandi "free-born farmer," noun use of present participle of boa "dwell, prepare, inhabit," from PIE *bhow-, from root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow." Meaning in English changed by influence of bond. The sexual sado-masochism sense is recorded by 1966.
bonded (adj.) Look up bonded at
"legally confirmed by bond," 1590s, from bond (v.).
bondman (n.) Look up bondman at
mid-13c., "husband, husbandman," from Middle English bond (see bondage) + man (n.). Later, "man in bondage, slave" (mid-14c.).
bondsman (n.) Look up bondsman at
"one who stands surety by bond," 1754, from bond (n.) + man (n.), with genitive -s- added probably in part to avoid confusion with bondman.
bone (v.) Look up bone at
especially in bone up "study," 1880s student slang, probably from "Bohn's Classical Library," a popular series in higher education published by German-born English publisher Henry George Bohn (1796-1884) as part of a broad series of "libraries" he issued from 1846, totaling 766 volumes, continued after 1864 by G. Bell & Sons.
bone (n.) Look up bone at
Old English ban "bone, tusk," from Proto-Germanic *bainam (source also of Old Frisian ben, Old Norse bein, Danish ben, German Bein). No cognates outside Germanic (the common PIE root is *ost-); the Norse, Dutch, and German cognates also mean "shank of the leg," and this is the main meaning in Modern German, but English never seems to have had this sense.
bonehead (n.) Look up bonehead at
"stupid person," 1908, from bone (n.) + head (n.). Compare blockhead, meathead.
boner (n.) Look up boner at
"blunder," 1912, baseball slang, probably from bonehead. Meaning "erect penis" is 1950s, from earlier bone-on (1940s), probably a variation (with connecting notion of "hardness") of hard-on (1893).
bones (n.) Look up bones at
plural of bone (n.). As a colloquial way to say "dice," it is attested from late 14c. As a nickname for a surgeon, it dates to 1887, short for sawbones. To make bones about something (mid-15c.) refers to bones found in soup, etc., as an obstacle to being swallowed. To feel something in one's bones "have a presentiment" is 1867, American English.
bonfire (n.) Look up bonfire at
1550s, from Middle English banefire (late 15c.), originally a fire in which bones were burned. See bone (n.) + fire (n.).
bong (n.) Look up bong at
"water pipe for marijuana," 1960s, U.S. slang, said to have been introduced by Vietnam War veterans, said to be from Thai baung, literally "cylindrical wooden tube."
bongo (n.) Look up bongo at
1920, from American Spanish (West Indies, especially Cuba), from a word of West African origin, such as Lokele (Zaire) boungu.
bonhomie (n.) Look up bonhomie at
"good nature," 1803, from French bonhomie "good nature, easy temper," from bonhomme "good man" (with unusual loss of -m-), from bon "good" (see bon) + homme "man," from Latin homo "man" (see homunculus).
Boniface Look up Boniface at
"innkeeper," from Will Boniface, character in George Farquhar's comedy "The Beaux' Stratagem" (1707).
Contrary to the common opinion, this name derives not from Latin bonifacius 'well-doer,' but from bonifatius, from bonum 'good' and fatum 'fate.' The change to Bonifacius was due to pronunciation and from this was deduced a false etymology. Bonifatius is frequent on Latin inscriptions. Bonifacius is found only twice and these late (Thesaurus) ["Dictionary of English Surnames"]
bonito (n.) Look up bonito at
type of sea fish, 1590s, from Spanish bonito, probably literally "the good one," diminutive of bueno "good," from Latin bonus "good" (see bonus).
bonjour Look up bonjour at
French, literally "good day," from bon "good," from Latin bonus "good" (see bonus) + jour (see journey (n.)).
bonk (v.) Look up bonk at
"to hit," 1931, probably of imitative origin; 1975 in sense of "have sexual intercourse with." Related: Bonked; bonking.
bonkers (adj.) Look up bonkers at
"crazy," 1957, British slang, perhaps from earlier naval slang meaning "slightly drunk" (1948), from notion of a thump ("bonk") on the head.
bonnet (n.) Look up bonnet at
late 14c., Scottish bonat "brimless hat for men," from Old French bonet, short for chapel de bonet, from bonet (12c., Modern French bonnet) "kind of cloth used as a headdress," from Medieval Latin bonitum "material for hats," perhaps a shortening of Late Latin abonnis "a kind of cap" (7c.), which is perhaps from a Germanic source.
bonny (adj.) Look up bonny at
1540s, of unknown origin, apparently from Old French bon, bone "good" (see bon).
bonnyclabber (n.) Look up bonnyclabber at
1620s (in shortened form clabber), from Modern Irish bainne "milk" (from Middle Irish banne "drop," also, rarely, "milk"; cognate with Sanskrit bindu- "drop") + claba "thick." Compare Irish and Gaelic clabar "mud," which sometimes has made its way into English (Yeats, etc.).
bonsai Look up bonsai at
1914, from Japanese bon "basin, pot" + sai "to plant."
bonus (n.) Look up bonus at
1773, "Stock Exchange Latin" [Weekley], from Latin bonus "good" (adj.), perhaps originally "useful, efficient, working," from Proto-Italic *dw-eno- "good," probably a suffixed form of PIE root *deu- (2) "to do, perform; show favor, revere." The correct noun form would be bonum. In U.S. history the bonus army was tens of thousands of World War I veterans and followers who marched on Washington, D.C., in 1932 demanding early redemption of their service bonus certificates (which carried a maximum value of $625).
bony (adj.) Look up bony at
late 14c., from bone (n.) + -y (2).
boo (interj.) Look up boo at
early 15c., boh, "A combination of consonant and vowel especially fitted to produce a loud and startling sound" [OED, which compares Latin boare, Greek boaein "to cry aloud, roar, shout"]; as an expression of disapproval, 1801 (n.), 1816 (v.); hence, the verb meaning "shower someone with boos" (1893).

Booing was common late 19c. among London theater audiences and at British political events; in Italy, Parma opera-goers were notorious boo-birds. But the custom seems to have been little-known in America before c. 1910. To say boo "open one's mouth, speak," originally was to say boo to a goose.
To be able to say Bo! to a goose is to be not quite destitute of courage, to have an inkling of spirit, and was probably in the first instance used of children. A little boy who comes across some geese suddenly will find himself hissed at immediately, and a great demonstration of defiance made by them, but if he can pluck up heart to cry 'bo!' loudly and advance upon them, they will retire defeated. The word 'bo' is clearly selected for the sake of the explosiveness of its first letter and the openness and loudness of its vowel. [Walter W. Skeat, "Cry Bo to a Goose," "Notes and Queries," 4th series, vi, Sept. 10, 1870]
boo-boo (n.) Look up boo-boo at
"mistake," 1954, apparently a reduplication of boob, which had acquired a secondary sense of "foolish mistake" (1934).
boo-hoo Look up boo-hoo at
also boohoo, 1520s, originally of laughter or weeping (now only of weeping); see boo.
boo-ya Look up boo-ya at
also booyah, exclamation used in various situations, first attested c. 1990 in hip-hop slang.
boob (n.) Look up boob at
"stupid person," 1909, American English slang, perhaps from booby.
boob tube (n.) Look up boob tube at
"television set," U.S. slang, by 1965, from boob "stupid person" + slang tube (n.) "television, television programming," because the sets really did have vacuum tubes in them once upon a time.
boobs (n.) Look up boobs at
"breasts," 1929, U.S. slang, probably from much older term boobies (late 17c.), related to 17c. bubby; perhaps ultimately from Latin puppa, literally "little girl," hence, in child-talk, "breast." Or else it is a natural formation in English (compare French poupe "teat," German dialectal Bubbi, etc.).
booby (n.) Look up booby at
1590s, from Spanish bobo "stupid person, slow bird" (used of various ungainly seabirds), probably from Latin balbus "stammering," from an imitative root (see barbarian).

Booby prize is by 1883: an object of little value given to the loser of a game; booby trap is 1850, originally a schoolboy prank; the more lethal sense developed during World War I.
At the end of every session the dominie had the satirical custom of presenting his tawse as a "booby-prize" to some idle or stupid lout whom he picked out as meriting this distinction so that next time they met he might start fresh and fair with new pair for a new set of classes. [Ascott R. Hope, "Dumps," "Young England" magazine, 1883]
boodle (n.) Look up boodle at
1833, "crowd;" 1858, "phony money," especially "graft money," actual or potential (1883), both American English slang, either or both based on bundle, or from Dutch boedel "property, riches," which is from Proto-Germanic *bothla, from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow."
booger (n.) Look up booger at
"nasal mucus," by 1890s; earlier bugger. Also boogie.
boogie (v.) Look up boogie at
originally "dance to boogie music," a late 1960s style of rock music based on blues chords, from earlier boogie, a style of blues (1941, also as a verb), short for boogie-woogie (1928), a reduplication of boogie (1917), which meant "rent party" in American English slang. A song title, "That Syncopated Boogie-boo," appears in a copyright listing from 1912.
book (v.) Look up book at
Old English bocian "to grant or assign by charter," from book (n.). Meaning "to enter into a book, record" is early 13c. Meaning "to enter for a seat or place, issue (railway) tickets" is from 1841; "to engage a performer as a guest" is from 1872. U.S. student slang meaning "to depart hastily, go fast" is by 1977, of uncertain signification. Related: Booked; booking.
book (n.) Look up book at
Old English boc "book, writing, written document," traditionally from Proto-Germanic *bokiz "beech" (source also of German Buch "book" Buche "beech;" see beech), the notion being of beechwood tablets on which runes were inscribed, but it may be from the tree itself (people still carve initials in them). The Old English word originally meant any written document. Latin and Sanskrit also have words for "writing" that are based on tree names ("birch" and "ash," respectively). And compare French livre "book," from Latin librum, originally "the inner bark of trees" (see library). Meaning "libretto of an opera" is from 1768. A betting book is from 1856.
bookbinder (n.) Look up bookbinder at
late 14c, from book (n.) + binder. Related: Bookbindery.
bookcase (n.) Look up bookcase at
1726, from book (n.) + case (n.2). An Old English word for this was bocfodder.
bookie (n.) Look up bookie at
1885, colloquial shortening of bookmaker in the wagering sense.
bookish (adj.) Look up bookish at
1560s, "literary," from book (n.) + -ish. In sense of "overly studious" it is recorded from 1590s. Related: Bookishly; bookishness.
bookkeeper (n.) Look up bookkeeper at
also book-keeper, 1550s, from book (n.) + keeper. A rare English word with three consecutive double letters. Related: Bookkeeping, which is from 1680s in the sense "the work of keeping account books;" book-keep (v.) is a back-formation from 1886.
booklet (n.) Look up booklet at
1859, from book (n.) + diminutive ending -let.