bookstore (n.) Look up bookstore at
also book-store, "shop where books are sold," 1763, from book (n.) + store (n.).
bookworm (n.) Look up bookworm at
1590s, "person devoted to study;" by 1713 in reference to the larvae of certain insects that eat holes in the bindings and paper of old books; see book (n.) + worm (n.). There is no single species known by this name, which is applied to the larvae of the anobium beetle (woodworm), silverfish, and booklice.
Boolean (adj.) Look up Boolean at
in reference to abstract algebraic systems, 1851, Boolian, so called for George Boole (1815-1864), English mathematician. The surname is a variant of Bull.
boom (v.) Look up boom at
mid-15c., bomben, bummyn, "buzz, hum, drone, make a deep, hollow, continuous sound" (earliest use was for bees and wasps), probably echoic of humming. The meaning "make a loud noise, roar, rumble, reverberate" is from 15c. Compare bomb. Meaning "to burst into prosperity" (of places, businesses, etc.) is 1871, American English. Related: Boomed; booming. Boom box "large portable stereo cassette player" first attested 1978.
boom (n.3) Look up boom at
"sudden start or increase in commercial or other activity," 1873, sometimes said to be from boom (n.1) in the specific nautical meaning "a long spar run out to extend the foot of a sail" -- a ship "booming" being one in full sail. But it could just as well be from boom (n.2) on the notion of "sudden burst." The verbal sense "burst into sudden activity" seems to be slightly older (1871). Boom town is from 1896. The economic cycle of boom and bust has been so called since 1943.
boom (n.1) Look up boom at
"long pole," 1640s, specifically, "long spar run out from a ship" (1660s), from Scottish boun, borrowed from Dutch boom "tree, pole, beam," from a Middle Dutch word analogous to German Baum, English beam (n.). As "movable bar for a microphone or camera," 1931.
boom (n.2) Look up boom at
"loud, deep, hollow, continued sound," c. 1500, from boom (v.). Compare boondi Aboriginal word for waves breaking on a beach (source of Sydney's Bondi Beach), said to be imitative of the sound.
boomerang (v.) Look up boomerang at
1880, "to throw a boomerang," from boomerang (n.). Figurative sense "fly back to the starting point" is from 1900.
boomerang (n.) Look up boomerang at
"missile weapon used by Australian aborigines," 1827, adapted from an extinct Aboriginal languages of New South Wales, Australia. Another variant, perhaps, was wo-mur-rang (1798).
boomlet (n.) Look up boomlet at
"small burst of activity, prosperity, etc.," 1880, from boom (n.3) + -let.
boon (n.) Look up boon at
late 12c., bone "a petition, a prayer," from Old Norse bon "a petition, prayer," from Proto-Germanic *boniz (source also of Old English ben "prayer, petition," bannan "to summon;" see ban (v.)). The sense gradually passed from "favor asked" to "thing asked for," to "a good thing received, a benefit enjoyed" (1767).
boon (adj.) Look up boon at
in boon companion "convivial friend, close intimate" (1560s), the only real survival of Middle English boon "good" (early 14c.), from Old French bon (see bon), from Latin bonus "good" (see bonus). Probably influenced by boon (n.).
boondocks (n.) Look up boondocks at
"remote and wild place," 1910s, from Tagalog bundok "mountain." Adopted by occupying American soldiers in the Philippines for "remote and wild place." Reinforced or re-adopted during World War II. Hence, also boondockers "shoes suited for rough terrain," originally (1944) U.S. services slang word for field boots.
boondoggle (n.) Look up boondoggle at
"A trivial, useless, or unnecessary undertaking; wasteful expenditure" [OED], 1935, American English, of uncertain origin, popularized during the New Deal as a contemptuous word for make-work projects for the unemployed. Said to have been a pioneer word for "gadget;" it also was by 1932 a Boy Scout term for a kind of woven braid.
boonies (n.) Look up boonies at
colloquial shortening of boondocks "remote and wild place;" by 1964, originally among U.S. troops in Vietnam War (in reference to the rural areas of the country, as opposed to Saigon).
boor (n.) Look up boor at
early 14c., "country-man, peasant farmer, rustic," from Old French bovier "herdsman," from Latin bovis, genitive of bos "cow, ox." This was reinforced by or merged with native Old English gebur "dweller, farmer, peasant" (unrelated but similar in sound and sense), and 16c. by its Dutch cognate boer, from Middle Dutch gheboer "fellow dweller," from Proto-Germanic *buram "dweller," especially "farmer" (compare German Bauer), from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow."

"A word of involved history in and out of English, though the ultimate etymology is clear enough" [OED]. In English it often was applied to agricultural laborers in or from other lands, as opposed to the native yeoman; negative transferred sense "one who is rude in manners" attested by 1560s (in boorish), from notion of clownish rustics. Related: Boorishness.
boorish (adj.) Look up boorish at
"uncouth, uncultured, rustic, so low-bred in habits as to be offensive," 1560s, from boor (n.) + -ish. Related: Boorishly; boorishness.
boost (v.) Look up boost at
"to life or raise by pushing from behind," 1815, literal and figurative, American English, of unknown origin. Related: Boosted; boosting. As a noun, "a lift, a shove up, an upward push," by 1825.
booster (n.) Look up booster at
1890, "one who boosts" something, agent noun from boost (v.). Electrical sense is recorded from 1894. Young child's booster chair is attested under that name from 1957 (booster-seat is from 1956). Related: Boosterism (1914).
boot (v.2) Look up boot at
1975, transitive, "start up (a computer) by causing an operating system to load in the memory," 1975, from bootstrap (v.), a 1958 derived verb from bootstrap (n.) in the computer sense "fixed sequence of instructions to load the operating system of a computer" (1953). This is from the notion of the first-loaded program pulling itself (and the rest) up by the bootstrap, an old expression for "better oneself by rigorous, unaided effort." Intransitive, of a computer operating system, from 1983. Related: Booted; booting.
boot (n.2) Look up boot at
"profit, use," Old English bot "help, relief, advantage; atonement," literally "a making better," from Proto-Germanic *boto (see better (adj.)). Compare German Buße "penance, atonement," Gothic botha "advantage." Now mostly in phrase to boot (Old English to bote), indicating something thrown in by one of the parties to a bargain as an additional consideration.
boot (v.1) Look up boot at
"to kick, drive by kicking," 1877, American English, from boot (n.1). Earlier "to beat with a boot" (a military punishment), 1802. Generalized sense of "eject, kick (out)" is from 1880. To give (someone) the boot "dismiss, kick out" is from 1888. Related: Booted; booting.
boot (n.1) Look up boot at
"covering for the foot and lower leg," early 14c., from Old French bote "boot" (12c.), with corresponding words in Provençal, Spanish, and Medieval Latin, all of unknown origin, perhaps from a Germanic source. Originally of riding boots only.

From c. 1600 as "fixed external step of a coach." This later was extended to "low outside compartment used for stowing luggage" (1781) and hence the transferred use, of motor vehicles, in Britain, where American English has trunk (n.1).

Boot-black "person who shines boots and shoes" is from 1817; boot-jack "implement to hold a boot by the heel while the foot is drawn from it" is from 1793. Boot Hill, U.S. frontier slang for "cemetery" (1893, in a Texas panhandle context) probably is an allusion to dying with one's boots on. An old Dorsetshire word for "half-boots" was skilty-boots [Halliwell, Wright].
boot camp (n.) Look up boot camp at
"training station for recruits," by 1941, U.S. Marines slang, said to be from boot (n.1) as slang for "recruit," which is attested by 1915 and supposedly dates from the Spanish-American War and is a synecdoche from boots "leggings worn by U.S. sailors."
boot-licker (n.) Look up boot-licker at
also bootlicker, "toady, servile follower," 1846, from boot (n.1) + agent noun from lick (v.). Foot-licker in the same sense is from 1610s.
Bootes Look up Bootes at
northern constellation containing the bright star Arcturus, late 14c., Boetes, from Latin Boötes, from Greek Boötes, literally "cow-herd," from bous "cow, bull, ox" (from PIE root *gwou- "ox, bull, cow"). Also see Arcturus.
booth (n.) Look up booth at
c. 1200, mid-12c. in place-names, "temporary structure of boards, etc.," especially a stall for the sale of goods or food or entertainment, at a fair, etc., from Old Danish boþ "temporary dwelling," from East Norse *boa "to dwell," from Proto-Germanic *bowan-, from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow." See also bower, and compare German Bude "booth, stall," Middle Dutch boode, Lithuanian butas "house," Old Irish both "hut," Bohemian bouda, Polish buda, some of which probably were borrowed from East Norse, some independently formed from the PIE root.
bootleg (n.) Look up bootleg at
also boot-leg, "upper part of the leg of a boot," 1630s, from boot (n.1) + leg (n.). As an adjective in reference to illegal liquor, 1889, American English slang, from the trick of concealing a flask of liquor down the leg of a high boot. Before that the bootleg was the place to secret knives and pistols. Extended to unauthorized music recordings, etc., by 1957.
bootlegger (n.) Look up bootlegger at
also boot-legger, 1889, from bootleg (q.v.). The word enjoyed great popularity in the U.S. during Prohibition (1920-1933), and the abstracted element -legger was briefly active in word-formation, e.g. meatlegger during World War II rationing, booklegger for those who imported banned titles such as "Ulysses."
bootlegging (n.) Look up bootlegging at
also boot-legging, 1890, from bootleg (q.v.).
bootless (adj.1) Look up bootless at
"lacking boots," late 14c., from boot (n.1) + -less.
bootless (adj.2) Look up bootless at
"without advantage, unprofitable," late Old English botleas "unpardonable, not to be atoned for, without help or remedy," from boot (n.2) + -less. Meaning "useless, unprofitable" is from early 15c.
bootstrap (n.) Look up bootstrap at
also boot-strap, tab or loop at the back of the top of a men's boot, which the wearer hooked a finger through to pull the boots on, 1870, from boot (n.1) + strap (n.).

Circa 1900, to pull (oneself) up by (one's) bootstraps was used figuratively of an impossible task (among the "practical questions" at the end of chapter one of Steele's "Popular Physics" schoolbook (1888) is, "30. Why can not a man lift himself by pulling up on his boot-straps?" and an excellent question it is). By 1916 the meaning of the phrase had expanded to include "better oneself by rigorous, unaided effort." The meaning "fixed sequence of instructions to load the operating system of a computer" (1953) is from the notion of the first-loaded program pulling itself (and the rest) up by the bootstrap. It was used earlier of electrical circuits (1946).
booty (n.) Look up booty at
mid-15c., bottyne "plunder taken from an enemy in war," from Old French butin "booty" (14c.), from a Germanic source akin to Middle Low German bute "exchange." Influenced in form and sense (toward "profit, gain," whether taken by force or not) by boot (n.2) and in form by nouns ending in -y. Meaning "female body considered as a sex object" is 1920s, African-American vernacular.
bootylicious (adj.) Look up bootylicious at
by 1998, hip-hop slang, from booty + ending from delicious.
booze (n.) Look up booze at
"alcoholic drink," by 1821, perhaps 1714; probably originally a verb, "to drink a lot" (1768), variant of bouse (c. 1300), from Middle Dutch busen "to drink heavily," related to Middle High German bus (intransitive) "to swell, inflate," which is of unknown origin.

The noun was perhaps reinforced by name of mid-19c. Philadelphia distiller E.G. Booz. Johnson's dictionary has rambooze "A drink made of wine, ale, eggs and sugar in winter time; or of wine, milk, sugar and rose-water in the summer time." In New Zealand from c.World War II, a drinking binge was a boozeroo.
booze (v.) Look up booze at
"to drink heavily," 1768, earlier bouze (1610s), bouse (c. 1300); see booze (n.). Related: Boozed; boozer; boozing.
boozy (adj.) Look up boozy at
"inebriated," 1719 (earlier bousy, 1520s), from booze (n.) + -y (2). It was one of Benjamin Franklin's 225 synonyms for "drunk" published in 1722. Related: Boozily; booziness.
bop (n.) Look up bop at
1948, shortening of bebop or rebop. The musical movement had its own lingo, which was in vogue in U.S. early 1950s. "Life" magazine [Sept. 29, 1952] listed examples of bop talk: crazy "new, wonderful, wildly exciting;" gone (adj.) "the tops--superlative of crazy;" cool (adj.) "tasty, pretty;" goof "to blow a wrong note or make a mistake;" hipster "modern version of hepcat;" dig "to understand, appreciate the subtleties of;" stoned "drunk, captivated, ecstatic, sent out of this world;" flip (v.) "to react enthusiastically."
bop (v.) Look up bop at
"to hit, strike, punch," 1931, imitative. Sense of "play bop music, play (a song) in a bop style" is from 1948, from bop (n.). It soon came to mean "do any sort of dance to pop music" (1956). Related: Bopped; bopping.
borage (n.) Look up borage at
blue-flowered plant used in salads, etc., mid-13c., from Anglo-French burage, Old French borage (13c., Modern French bourrache), from Medieval Latin borrago, which also is the source of Spanish boraja, Italian borraggine, German Boretsch.

The Medieval Latin word was held by folk-etymology to be from Arabic abu arak, literally "the father of sweat," supposedly so called by Arab physicians for its effect on humans. But OED and other sources find it rather to be from Latin borra "rough hair, short wool," in reference to the texture of the foliage. Related: Boraginaceous.
borax (n.) Look up borax at
late 14c., name given to several useful minerals, specifically to a salt formed from the union of boracic acid and soda, from Anglo-French boras, from Medieval Latin baurach, from Arabic buraq, applied by the Arabs to various substances used as fluxes, probably from Persian burah. Originally obtained in Europe from the beds of salt lakes in Tibet. Related: Boracic.
borborygmus (n.) Look up borborygmus at
also borborygmi, "rumbling noise in the bowels," 17c., from Latin borborigmus, from Greek borborygmos, from borboryzein "to have a rumbling in the bowels," imitative.
Bordeaux Look up Bordeaux at
city in southwestern France, Roman Burdigala (1c.), perhaps from a Celtic or pre-Celtic source the sense of which has been lost. From 1560s as a type of wine imported from the city.
bordel (n.) Look up bordel at
c. 1300, "brothel," from Old French bordel (see bordello, which has replaced it).
bordello (n.) Look up bordello at
c. 1300, bordel "house of prostitution," from Old French bordel "small hut, cabin; brothel" (12c.), diminutive of borde "hut made of planks," from Frankish *bord "wooden board" or some other Germanic source related to board (n.1). The modern form (1590s) is a result of the French word being borrowed by Italian then passed back to French with a suffix and re-borrowed into English.
border (n.) Look up border at
mid-14c., bordure, in heraldry, "broad, colored band surrounding the shield," from Old French bordeure "seam, edge of a shield, border," from Frankish *bord or a similar Germanic source (compare Old English bord "side;" see board (n.2)). The form of the ending changed after c. 1500. From late 14c. as "edge, side, brink, margin," also "ornamental border along the edge of a dish, garment, etc." Italian and Spanish bordo also are from Germanic.

Sense of "boundary of a city or country" is from late 14c. From c. 1400 as "border region, district lying along the boundary of a country" (replacing earlier march). In U.S. history, "the line between the wild and settled regions of the country" (1827).
border (v.) Look up border at
c. 1400, "to put a border on;" 1530s as "to lie on the border of," from border (n.). Related: Bordered; bordering.
border-land (n.) Look up border-land at
1813, from border (n.) + land (n.).
bordering (n.) Look up bordering at
"material for a border of any kind," by 1889, verbal noun from border (v.).