boustrophedon (n.) Look up boustrophedon at Dictionary.com
1783, ancient form of writing with lines alternately written left-to-right and right-to-left, from Greek, literally "turning as an ox in plowing," from bous "ox" (see cow (n.)) + strephein "to turn" (see strophe).
bout (n.) Look up bout at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Middle English bught, probably from an unrecorded Old English variant of byht "a bend," from Proto-Germanic *bukhta- (see bight (n.)). Sense evolved from "a circuit of any kind" (as of a plow) to "a round at any kind of exercise" (1570s), "a round at fighting" (1590s), "a fit of drinking" (1660s).
boutique (n.) Look up boutique at Dictionary.com
"fashion shop," 1953, earlier "small shop of any sort" (1767), from French boutique (14c.), from Old Provençal botica, from Latin apotheca "storehouse" (see apothecary). Latin apotheca directly into French normally would have yielded *avouaie.
boutonniere (n.) Look up boutonniere at Dictionary.com
1877, from French boutonnière, from bouton (see button (n.)).
bovine (adj.) Look up bovine at Dictionary.com
1817, from French bovin (14c.), from Late Latin bovinus, from Latin bos (genitive bovis) "ox, cow," from PIE *gwous- (see cow (n.)). Figurative sense of "inert and stupid" is from 1855.
bovver Look up bovver at Dictionary.com
1969, Cockney pronunciation of bother "trouble" (q.v.), given wide extended usage in skinhead slang.
bow (v.) Look up bow at Dictionary.com
Old English bugan "to bend, to bow down, to bend the body in condescension," also "to turn back" (class II strong verb; past tense beag, past participle bogen), from Proto-Germanic *bugon (source also of Dutch buigen, Middle Low German bugen, Old High German biogan, German biegen, Gothic biugan "to bend," Old Norse boginn "bent"), from *beugen, from PIE root *bheug- (3) "to bend," with derivatives referring to bent, pliable, or curved objects (source also of Sanskrit bhujati "bends, thrusts aside;" Old High German boug, Old English beag "a ring"). The noun in this sense is first recorded 1650s. Related: Bowed; bowing. Bow out "withdraw" is from 1942.
bow (n.1) Look up bow at Dictionary.com
weapon for shooting arrows, Old English boga "archery bow, arch, rainbow," from Proto-Germanic *bugon (source also of Old Norse bogi, Old Frisian boga, Dutch boog, German Bogen "bow;" see bow (v.)). The sense of "a looped knot" is from 1540s. The musician's bow (1570s) formerly was curved like the archer's. Bowlegged is attested from 1550s.
bow (n.2) Look up bow at Dictionary.com
"front of a ship," mid-14c., from Old Norse bogr or Middle Dutch boech "bow of a ship," literally "shoulder (of an animal)," the connecting notion being "the shoulders of the ship." See bough.
bow tie (n.) Look up bow tie at Dictionary.com
by 1887, from bow (n.) in the sense "ribbon or other fabric tied in a bow-knot" (by 1874) + tie (n.).
bow-wow Look up bow-wow at Dictionary.com
imitative of a dog's barking, first recorded 1570s.
bowdlerize (v.) Look up bowdlerize at Dictionary.com
1836, from Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), English editor who in 1818 published a notorious expurgated Shakespeare, in which, according to his frontispiece, "nothing is added to the original text; but those words and expressions omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family." Related: Bowdlerized; bowdlerizing.
bowel (n.) Look up bowel at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French boele "intestines, bowels, innards" (12c., Modern French boyau), from Medieval Latin botellus "small intestine," originally "sausage," diminutive of botulus "sausage," a word borrowed from Oscan-Umbrian, from PIE *gwet-/*geut- "intestine" (source also of Latin guttur "throat," Old Norse kviðr "womb," Old English cwið, Gothic qiþus "belly, womb," German kutteln "guts, chitterlings").

Greek splankhnon (from the same PIE root as spleen) was a word for the principal internal organs, which also were felt in ancient times to be the seat of various emotions. Greek poets, from Aeschylus down, regarded the bowels as the seat of the more violent passions such as anger and love, but by the Hebrews they were seen as the seat of tender affections, especially kindness, benevolence, and compassion. Splankhnon was used in Septuagint to translate a Hebrew word, and from thence early Bibles in English rendered it in its literal sense as bowels, which thus acquired in English a secondary meaning of "pity, compassion" (late 14c.). But in later editions the word often was translated as heart. Bowel movement is attested by 1874.
bower (n.) Look up bower at Dictionary.com
Old English bur "room, hut, dwelling, chamber," from Proto-Germanic *buraz (source also of Old Norse bur "chamber," Swedish bur "cage," Old High German bur "dwelling, chamber," German Vogelbauer "(bird)cage"), from *bu- "to dwell," from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, dwell" (see be). Modern spelling developed after mid-14c. Sense of "leafy arbor" (place closed in by trees) is first attested 1520s. Hence, too, Australia's bower-bird (1847).
bowery (n.) Look up bowery at Dictionary.com
"farm, plantation," from Dutch bowerij "homestead farm" (from the same source as bower); a Dutch word probably little used in America outside New York, and there soon limited to one road, The Bowery, that ran from the built-up part of the city out to the plantations in middle Manhattan, attested from 1787; the city's growth soon overran it, and it was noted by 1840 as a commercial district notorious for squalor, rowdiness, and low life. The Bowery boy as an American comic type had a heyday in the 1850s and again around 1900.
Bowery Boy, the typical New York tough of a generation or two ago, named from the street which he chiefly affected .... He rather prided himself on his uncouthness, his ignorance, and his desperado readiness to fight, but he also loved to have attention called to his courage, his gallantry to women, his patriotic enthusiasm, and his innate tenderness of heart. A fire and a thrilling melodrama called out all his energies and emotions. [Walsh, 1892]
bowie knife Look up bowie knife at Dictionary.com
1827, named for its inventor, U.S. fighter and frontiersman Col. James "Jim" Bowie (1799-1836), and properly pronounced "boo-ee."
bowl (v.) Look up bowl at Dictionary.com
"to roll a ball on the ground," typically as part of a game or contest, mid-15c., from bowl "wooden ball" (see bowls). Specifically of cricket from 1755; cricket use is source of late 19c. expressions bowl over, etc. Related: Bowled; bowling.
bowl (n.) Look up bowl at Dictionary.com
Old English bolla "pot, cup, bowl," from Proto-Germanic *bul- "a round vessel" (source also of Old Norse bolle, Old High German bolla), from PIE *bhl-, from root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole).
bowler (n.1) Look up bowler at Dictionary.com
"hard round hat," 1861, said to be from a J. Bowler, 19c. London hat manufacturer. A John Bowler of Surrey, hat manufacturer, was active from the 1820s to the 1840s, and a William Bowler, hat-manufacturer, of Southwark Bridge Road, Surrey, sought a patent in 1854 for "improvements in hats and other coverings for the head." But perhaps the word is simply from bowl (n.); compare Old English heafodbolla "brainpan, skull." The earliest usages are with a lower-case b-.
bowler (n.2) Look up bowler at Dictionary.com
"player at bowls," c. 1500.
bowling (n.) Look up bowling at Dictionary.com
1530s, originally "playing at bowls," verbal noun from bowl (v.). Bowling alley is from 1550s.
bowls (n.) Look up bowls at Dictionary.com
game played with balls, mid-15c. (implied in bowlyn), from gerund of bowl "wooden ball" (early 15c.), from Old French bole (13c., Modern French boule) "ball," ultimately from Latin bulla "bubble, knob, round thing" (see bull (n.2)).
Noon apprentice ... [shall] play ... at the Tenys, Closshe, Dise, Cardes, Bowles nor any other unlawfull game. [Act 11, Henry VII, 1495]
Bowman's capsule (n.) Look up Bowman's capsule at Dictionary.com
1882, named for English surgeon William Bowman (1816-1892).
bowser (n.) Look up bowser at Dictionary.com
a dog's name, 1806, perhaps imitative of baying.
bowsprit (n.) Look up bowsprit at Dictionary.com
"large spar extending from the bow of a ship with one or more sails of its own," late 13c., probably from Middle Low German bochspret, from boch "bow of a ship" (see bow (n.2)) + spret "pole" (compare Old English spreot "pole," Dutch spriet "spear;" see sprit). French beaupre is a Dutch loan word.
bowyer (n.) Look up bowyer at Dictionary.com
"maker of bows," attested late 12c. as a surname, from bow (n.1) + -yer.
box (n.1.) Look up box at Dictionary.com
Old English box "a wooden container," also the name of a type of shrub, from Late Latin buxis, from Greek pyxis "boxwood box," from pyxos "box tree," which is of uncertain origin. See OED entry for discussion. German Büchse also is a Latin loan word.

Meaning "compartment at a theater" is from c. 1600. Meaning "pigeon-hole at a post office" is from 1832. Meaning "television" is from 1950. Slang meaning "vulva" is attested 17c., according to "Dictionary of American Slang;" modern use seems to date from c.World War II, perhaps originally Australian, on notion of "box of tricks." Box office is 1786; in the figurative sense of "financial element of a performance" it is first recorded 1904. Box lunch (n.) attested from 1899. The box set, "multiple-album, CD or cassette issue of the work of an artist" is attested by 1955.
box (n.2.) Look up box at Dictionary.com
"a blow," c. 1300, of uncertain origin, possibly related to Middle Dutch boke, Middle High German buc, and Danish bask, all meaning "a blow," perhaps imitative.
box (v.2) Look up box at Dictionary.com
"to beat or whip," late 14c., from box (n.2). Meaning "to fight with the fists" is from 1560s. Related: Boxed; boxing.
box (v.1) Look up box at Dictionary.com
"to put into storage, put into a box," mid-15c., from box (n.1). Related: Boxed; boxing.
box-top (n.) Look up box-top at Dictionary.com
1937, American English, from box (n.1) + top (n.1).
boxcar (n.) Look up boxcar at Dictionary.com
1856, American English, from box (n.1) + car.
boxer (n.) Look up boxer at Dictionary.com
"fighter," late 15c., agent noun from box (v.2). The name of the breed of dog (1934), is from German (the breed originated in Germany), itself taken from English boxer "fighter;" the dog so called for its pugnaciousness. Boxer shorts (1943) so called from their resemblance to the attire worn in the ring.
Boxer Rebellion Look up Boxer Rebellion at Dictionary.com
1900, a name based on mistranslation of Chinese xenophobic society I-He-T'uan, "Righteous Harmony Band," rendered by British as I-He-Ch'uan "Righteous Uniting Fists," and so associated with the pugilistic boxer.
boxing (n.) Look up boxing at Dictionary.com
"fighting with the fists as a sport," 1711, verbal noun from box (v.2).
Boxing Day (n.) Look up Boxing Day at Dictionary.com
1809, "first weekday after Christmas," on which postmen and others expect to receive a Christmas present, originally in reference to the custom of distributing the contents of the Christmas box, which was placed in the church for charity collections. See box (n.1). The custom is older than the phrase.
boxy (adj.) Look up boxy at Dictionary.com
1858, from box (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Boxiness.
boy (n.) Look up boy at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., boie "servant, commoner, knave, boy," of unknown origin. Possibly from Old French embuie "one fettered," from Vulgar Latin *imboiare, from Latin boia "leg iron, yoke, leather collar," from Greek boeiai dorai "ox hides." (Words for "boy" double as "servant, attendant" across the Indo-European map -- compare Italian ragazzo, French garçon, Greek pais, Middle English knave, Old Church Slavonic otroku -- and often it is difficult to say which meaning came first.)

But it also appears to be identical with East Frisian boi "young gentleman," and perhaps with Dutch boef "knave," from Middle Dutch boeve, perhaps from Middle Low German buobe. This suggests a gradational relationship to babe. For a different conjecture:
In Old English, only the proper name Boia has been recorded. ME boi meant 'churl, servant' and (rarely) 'devil.' In texts, the meaning 'male child' does not antedate 1400. ModE boy looks like a semantic blend of an onomatopoeic word for an evil spirit (*boi) and a baby word for 'brother' (*bo). [Liberman]

A noticable number of the modern words for 'boy', 'girl', and 'child' were originally colloquial nicknames, derogatory or whimsical, in part endearing, and finally commonplace. These, as is natural, are of the most diverse, and in part obscure, origin. [Buck]
Used slightingly of young men in Middle English; meaning "male negro slave or Asian personal servant of any age" attested from c. 1600. Exclamation oh, boy attested from 1892.
boyar (n.) Look up boyar at Dictionary.com
member of a Russian aristocratic class (abolished by Peter the Great), 1590s, from Russian boyarin, perhaps from boji "struggle," or from Slavic root *bol- "great."
boycott Look up boycott at Dictionary.com
1880, noun and verb, from Irish Land League ostracism of Capt. Charles C. Boycott (1832-1897), land agent of Lough-Mask in County Mayo, who refused to lower rents for his tenant farmers. Quickly adopted by newspapers in languages as far afield as Japanese (boikotto). The family name is from a place in England.
Boyd Look up Boyd at Dictionary.com
in many cases, the family name represents Gaelic or Irish buidhe "yellow," suggesting blond hair, compare Manx name Mac Giolla Buidhe (c. 1100).
boyfriend (n.) Look up boyfriend at Dictionary.com
also boy-friend, "a woman's paramour," 1909, from boy + friend (n.).
boyish (adj.) Look up boyish at Dictionary.com
1540s, "pertaining to boys," from boy + -ish. Meaning "puerile" is from 1570s. Related: Boyishly; boyishness.
Boyle's law (n.) Look up Boyle's law at Dictionary.com
named for Irish-born chemist and physicist Robert Boyle (1627-1691), who published it in 1662.
boysenberry (n.) Look up boysenberry at Dictionary.com
1935, developed early 1900s by California botanist Rudolf Boysen (1895-1950) and named for him.
bozo (n.) Look up bozo at Dictionary.com
"muscular low-I.Q. male," c. 1910, perhaps from Spanish bozal, used in the slave trade and also to mean "one who speaks Spanish poorly." Bozo the clown was created 1940 at Capitol Records as the voice in a series of story-telling records for children ["Wall Street Journal," Oct. 31, 1983].
bra (n.) Look up bra at Dictionary.com
by 1923, shortening of brassiere.
Brabant Look up Brabant at Dictionary.com
region in eastern Belgium (in Middle Ages much more extensive), from Old High German brahha "newly broken land" (see break (v.)) + bant "region."
brace (v.) Look up brace at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "to seize, grasp," also "wrap, enshroud; tie up, fetter," from Old French bracier "to embrace," from brace "arms" (see brace (n.)). Meaning "to render firm or steady by tensing" is mid-15c., earlier in figurative sense "strengthen or comfort" (someone), early 15c., with later extension to tonics, etc. that "brace" the nerves (compare bracer "stiff drink"). Related: Braced; bracing.
brace (n.) Look up brace at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "piece of armor for the arms," also "thong, strap for fastening," from Old French brace, braz "arms," also "length measured by two arms" (12c., Modern French bras "arm, power;" brasse "fathom, armful, breaststroke"), from Latin bracchia, plural of bracchium "an arm, a forearm," from Greek brakhion "an arm" (see brachio-). Applied to various devices for fastening and tightening on notion of clasping arms. Of dogs, "a couple, a pair" from c. 1400.