bump (v.)
1560s, "to bulge out;" 1610s, "to strike heavily, cause to come into violent contact," perhaps from Scandinavian, probably echoic, if the original sense was "hitting" then of "swelling from being hit." It also has a long association with the obsolete verb bum "make a booming noise." To bump into "meet by chance" is from 1886; to bump off "kill" is by 1908 in underworld slang. Related: Bumped; bumping. Bumpsy (adj.) was old slang for "drunk" (1610s).
bump (n.)
1590s, "protuberance caused by a blow;" 1610s as "a dull-sounding, solid blow;" see bump (v.). The dancer's bump and grind attested from 1940. To be like a bump on a log "silent, stupidly inarticulate" is by 1863, American English.
bumper (n.)
1670s, "glass filled to the brim;" perhaps from notion of bumping as "large," or from a related sense of "booming" (see bump (v.)). Meaning "anything unusually large" (as in bumper crop) is from 1759, originally slang. Agent-noun meaning "buffer of a car" is from 1839, American English, originally in reference to railway cars; 1901 of automobiles (in phrase bumper-to-bumper, in reference to a hypothetical situation; of actual traffic jams by 1908).
bumpkin (n.)
"awkward country fellow," 1560s, probably from Middle Dutch bommekijn "little barrel," diminutive of boom "tree" (see beam (n.)). Apparently, though itself Dutch, it began as a derogatory reference to Dutch people as short and dumpy. The Dutch word came into English in a more literal sense in 1630s as nautical bumkin "short boom projecting from each quarter of a vessel."
bumptious (adj.)
"offensively assertive," 1803, probably a humorous slang coinage from bump on the pattern of fractious, etc. Related: Bumptiously; bumptiousness.
bumpy (adj.)
of a road, etc., "marked by bumps," 1865, from bump + -y (2). Of airplane flights, "uneven because of bumps," 1911.
Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night. [Bette Davis ("Margo Channing"), "All About Eve," 1950]
Related: Bumpiness.
bun (n.)
"small, slightly sweetened roll or biscuit," late 14c., origin obscure and much-disputed; perhaps [Skeat] from Old French buignete "a fritter," originally "a boil, a swelling," diminutive of buigne "swelling from a blow, bump on the head," from a Germanic source (compare Middle High German bunge "clod, lump"), or from Gaulish *bunia (compare Gaelic bonnach; see bannock). Spanish buñelo "a fritter" apparently is from the same source. Of hair coiled at the back of the head, first attested 1894. To have a bun in the oven "be pregnant" is from 1951.

The modern popular use of buns in the sense of "male buttocks" is from 1960s, perhaps from a perceived similarity; but bun also meant "tail of a hare" (1530s) in Scottish and northern England dialect and was transferred to human beings (and conveniently rhymed with nun in ribald ballads). This may be an entirely different word; OED points to Gaelic bun "stump, root."
buna (n.)
synthetic rubber made from butadiene, 1936, from German Buna, from first elements of butadiene, name of a hydrocarbon (related to butane; the suffix indicates the presence of two double bonds) + Na, indicating sodium (from natrium; see sodium).
bunch (v.)
late 14c., "to bulge out," from bunch (n.). Meaning "to gather up in a bunch" (transitive) is from 1828; sense of "to crowd together" (intransitive) is from 1873. Related: Bunched; bunching.
bunch (n.)
mid-14c., "a bundle;" late 14c., "protuberance on the body, swelling, knob, lump," probably from Old French dialectal bonge "bundle," a nasalized form of Old French bouge (2), 15c., from Flemish bondje diminutive of boud "bundle." The sense of "a cluster, joined collection of things of the same kind" is from mid-15c. The looser meaning "a lot, a group of any kind" is from 1620s.
bunco (n.)
also bunko, type of confidence swindle, 1872, perhaps from Italian banco "bank."
buncombe (n.)
see bunk (n.2).
bund (n.)
"league, confederacy," 1850, from German Bund "federation, league, alliance, union" (related to English band (n.2) and bind (v.)). It appears in names of various fraternal organizations, in U.S. most notoriously in German-American Bund, a pro-Nazi organization founded 1936 and dissolved in 1941.
Bundestag (n.)
German federal council, 1879, from German Bundestag, from genitive of Bund "league, confederacy, association" (related to English band (n.2) and bind (v.)) + tag, literally "day;" as a verb, tagen, "to sit in conference" (see day; also compare adjourn). Hence also Bundesrat "federal council of the German empire" (1872), from rat, rath "council" (see rathskeller).
bundle (n.)
early 14c., "bound collection of things," from Middle Dutch bondel, diminutive of bond, from binden "to bind," or perhaps a merger of this word and Old English byndele "binding," from Proto-Germanic *bund- (source also of German bündel "to bundle"), from PIE root *bhendh- "to bind." Meaning "a lot of money" is from 1899. To be a bundle of nerves "very anxious" is from 1938.
bundle (v.)
1620s, "to make into a bundle," from bundle (n.). Meaning "to sleep with another, clothed, in the same bed," a noted former custom in New England, is from 1781. Meaning "to send away hurriedly" is from 1823, from the notion of packing one's effects for a journey. To bundle up "wrap in warm heavy clothes" is from 1853. Related: Bundled; bundling.
bundling (n.)
1640s, "a gathering into a bundle," verbal noun from bundle (v.). Meaning "sharing a bed for the night, fully dressed, wrapped up with someone of the opposite sex" (1782) is a former local custom in New England (especially Connecticut and southeastern Massachusetts). It was noted there from about 1750s and often regarded by outsiders as grossly immoral, but New Englanders wrote defenses of it and claimed it was practiced elsewhere, too. It seems to have died out with the 18th century.
I am no advocate for temptation; yet must say, that bundling has prevailed 160 years in New England, and, I verily believe, with ten times more chastity than the sitting on a sofa. I had daughters, and speak from near forty years' experience. Bundling takes place only in cold seasons of the year--the sofa in summer is more dangerous than the bed in winter. [The Rev. Samuel Peters, "A general history of Connecticut," 1782]
bung (n.)
mid-15c., "large stopper for a cask," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Middle Dutch bonge "stopper;" or perhaps from French bonde "bung, bunghole" (15c.), which may be of Germanic origin (or the Germanic words may be borrowed from Romanic), or it may be from Gaulish *bunda (compare Old Irish bonn, Gaelic bonn, Welsh bon "base, sole of the foot"). It is possible that either or both of these sources is ultimately from Latin puncta in the sense of "hole" (from PIE root *peuk- "to prick"). Transferred to the cask-mouth itself (also bung-hole) from 1570s.
bung-hole (n.)
also bunghole, "hole in a cask through which is it filled, closed by a stopper," 1570s, from bung (n.) + hole (n.). Sense extended to "anus" by c. 1600.
bungalow (n.)
1670s, Anglo-Indian, "one-story thatched house," usually surrounded by a veranda, from Gujarati bangalo, from Hindi bangla "low, thatched house," literally "Bengalese," used elliptically for "house in the Bengal style" (see Bengal). Related: Bungaloid.
bungee (n.)
1930, "elastic rope," probably an extended use of the identical word used in late 19c. British schoolboy slang for "rubber eraser;" this probably is more or less onomatopoeic, from notions of bouncy + spongy. First record of bungee jumping is from 1979.
bungle (n.)
"a clumsy piece of work," 1650s, from bungle (v.).
bungle (v.)
"to work or act clumsily," 1520s, origin obscure. OED suggests imitative; perhaps a mix of boggle and bumble, or perhaps [Skeat] from a Scandinavian word akin to Swedish bangla "to work ineffectually," Old Swedish bunga "to strike" (related to German Bengel "cudgel," also "rude fellow"). Related: Bungled; bungling.
bungler (n.)
"one who works clumsily," 1530s, agent noun from bungle (v.).
bungling (n.)
"clumsy workmanship," 1660s, verbal noun from bungle (v.).
bungling (adj.)
"prone to bungle, clumsy, awkward," 1580s, present-participle adjective from bungle (v.). Related: Bunglingly.
bunion (n.)
"swelling on the foot caused by inflammation of a bursa," 1718, apparently from East Anglian dialectic bunny "lump, swelling" (16c.), which is probably from Middle French buigne "bump on the head, swelling from a blow" (see bun).
bunk (n.2)
"nonsense," 1900, short for bunkum, phonetic spelling of Buncombe, a county in North Carolina. The usual story (attested by 1841) of its origin is this: At the close of the protracted Missouri statehood debates in the U.S. Congress, supposedly on Feb. 25, 1820, North Carolina Rep. Felix Walker (1753-1828) began what promised to be a "long, dull, irrelevant speech," and he resisted calls to cut it short by saying he was bound to say something that could appear in the newspapers in the home district and prove he was on the job. "I shall not be speaking to the House," he confessed, "but to Buncombe." Thus Bunkum has been American English slang for "nonsense" since 1841 (it is attested from 1838 as generic for "a U.S. Representative's home district").
MR. WALKER, of North Carolina, rose then to address the Committee on the question [of Missouri statehood]; but the question was called for so clamorously and so perseveringly that Mr. W. could proceed no farther than to move that the committee rise. [Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 16th Congress, 1st Session, p. 1539]

"Well, when a critter talks for talk sake, jist to have a speech in the paper to send to home, and not for any other airthly puppus but electioneering, our folks call it Bunkum." [Thomas Chandler Haliburton, "Sam Slick in England," 1858]
bunk (n.1)
1758, "sleeping-berth in a vessel," later in a railroad car, etc., probably a shortened form of bunker (n.) in its sense of "seat." Bunk-bed (n.) attested by 1869.
bunk (v.)
"to sleep in a bunk," by 1840, originally nautical, from bunk (n.1). Hence "to occupy a bed." Related: Bunked; bunking.
bunker (n.)
1758, originally Scottish, "seat, bench," a word of uncertain origin, possibly a variant of banker "bench" (1670s; see bank (n.2)); or possibly from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Swedish bunke "boards used to protect the cargo of a ship"). Meaning "receptacle for coal aboard a ship" is from 1839. Of sand-holes on golf courses, by 1824, from the extended sense "earthen seat" (1805). The meaning "dug-out fortification" probably is from World War I.
Bunker Hill
battle site in Massachusetts, U.S., it rises on land assigned in 1634 to George Bunker, who came from the vicinity of Bedford, England. The name dates from 1229, as Bonquer, and is from Old French bon quer "good heart."
bunkum (n.)
variant of Buncombe (see bunk (n.2)).
bunny (n.)
pet name for a rabbit, 1680s, diminutive of Scottish dialectal bun, pet name for a rabbit, previously (1580s) for a squirrel, and also a term of endearment for a young attractive woman or child (c. 1600). Ultimately it could be from Scottish bun "tail of a hare" (1530s), or from French bon, or from a Scandinavian source. The Playboy Club hostess sense is from 1960. The Bunny Hug (1912), along with the foxtrot and the Wilson glide, were among the popular/scandalous dances of the ragtime era.
buns (n.)
see bun.
Bunsen burner
1879, named for Prof. Robert Wilhelm Bunsen (1811-1899) of Heidelberg, who invented it in 1855. He also was co-inventor of the spectroscope.
bunt (n.)
1767, "a push with the head or horns" (of a goat or calf); see bunt (v.). Baseball sense "stop the ball with the bat without swinging the bat" is from 1889.
bunt (v.)
1825, "to strike with the head or horns" (of a goat or calf); perhaps an alteration of butt (v.) with a goat in mind, or a survival from Middle English bounten "to leap back, return" (early 15c., perhaps from a variant of Old French bondir; see bound (v.2)). As a baseball term from 1889. Also compare punt (v.). Related: Bunted; bunting.
bunting (n.2)
popular name of a lark-like bird, c. 1300, bountyng, a word of unknown origin. Perhaps from buntin "plump" (compare baby bunting, also Scots buntin "short and thick;" Welsh bontin "rump," and bontinog "big-assed"), or a double diminutive of French bon. Or it might be named in reference to speckled plumage and be from an unrecorded Old English word akin to German bunt "speckled," Dutch bont, which are perhaps from Latin punctus.
bunting (n.1)
"light woolen stuff loosely woven, flag-material," 1742, of uncertain origin; perhaps from a dialectal survival of Middle English bonting "sifting," verbal noun from bonten "to sift," because cloth was used for sifting grain. The Middle English verb is via Old French, from Vulgar Latin *bonitare "to make good," from Latin bonus "good" (see bonus).
bunyip (n.)
fabulous swamp-dwelling animal of Australia (supposedly inspired by fossil bones), 1848, from an Australian aborigine language.
buoy (v.)
1590s, "to mark with a buoy," from buoy (n.). Meaning "keep something from sinking, keep afloat" is from 1650s, probably from the noun in the extended sense of "buoyant object thrown from a vessel to assist someone in the water stay afloat." It is attested earlier (1640s) in the figurative sense (of hopes, spirits, etc.). Related: Buoyed; buoying.
buoy (n.)
"float fixed in a place to indicate the position of objects underwater or to mark a channel," late 13c., boie, probably from Old French buie or Middle Dutch boeye, both of which likely are from Proto-Germanic *baukna- "beacon, signal" (see beacon). OED and Century Dictionary, however, suggest it is from Middle Dutch boeie or Old French boie "fetter, chain" (see boy), "because of its being fettered to a spot."
buoyance (n.)
"buoyancy," 1821, from buoyant + -ance. The more usual word is buoyancy.
buoyancy (n.)
1713, "relative lightness, quality of floating on water or other liquid," from buoyant + -cy. Figurative sense "cheerfulness, hopefulness" (of spirits, etc.) is from 1819. Meaning "power of supporting a body so that it floats" is from 1831.
buoyant (adj.)
1570s, perhaps from Spanish boyante, present participle of boyar "to float," from boya "buoy," from Dutch boei (see buoy (n.)). Of personalities, etc., from c. 1748. Related: Buoyantly.
bur (n.)
"prickly seed vessel of some plants," c. 1300, burre, from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish borre, Swedish hard-borre, Old Norse burst "bristle"), from PIE *bhars- (see bristle (n.)). Transferred 1610s to "rough edge on metal," which might be the source of the sense "rough sound of the letter -r-" (see burr). Also the name given to various tools and appliances.
burble (v.)
"make a bubbling sound, bubble, gush," c. 1300, imitative (compare unrelated Spanish borbollar, Old French borboter "to bubble, gush," Greek borboryzein "to rumble"). Related: Burbled; burbling.
burd (n.)
poetic word for "woman, lady" in old ballads; later "young lady, maiden;" c. 1200, perhaps from Old English byrde "wealthy, well-born, of good birth" (compare Old English gebyrd "birth, descent, race; offspring; nature; fate;" see birth (n.)) Or a metathesis of bryd "bride" (see bride). The masculine equivalent was berne.
burden (n.1)
"a load, that which is borne or carried," Old English byrðen "a load, weight, charge, duty;" also "a child;" from Proto-Germanic *burthinjo- "that which is borne" (source also of Old Norse byrðr, Old Saxon burthinnia, German bürde, Gothic baurþei), from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children."

The shift from -th- to -d- began early 12c. (compare murder (n.), rudder, afford). Archaic burthen is occasionally retained for the specific sense of "capacity of a ship." Beast of burden is from 1740. Burden of proof (Latin onus probandi) "obligation on one party in an action to establish an alleged fact by proof" is recorded from 1590s.