This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Nuts and Bolts: the buck starts here.

File:Core Banks - Whelk - 1.JPG
A lightning whelk (yes, that's right, a lightning whelk) by Jarek Tuszyński 

So: what do a buckaroo, a buckle, buckshee and a bucket have in common?


...not a lot, really.

Word To Use Today: one beginning with buck. Buckaroo is a variant of the Spanish vaquero, from the Latin vacca, cow (a buckeroo is a cowboy). Buckeen (a poor young man who tries to appear as wealthy as he can) comes from the Irish Gaelic boicín, the diminuative of boc, which means an important person. Bucket is from the Anglo-French buket, from Old English būc, and is probably some relation to the German Bauch, belly. Buckhorn is named after, yes, a male deer, and comes from the Old English bucca, a billy goat. Then there's buckie, which can be either a whelk or a boisterous young person, and is related to the Latin bucinum, whelk, from bucina, a trumpet or horn. Buckle comes from the Old French bocle, from Latin buccula, little cheek, because you got them on the cheek straps of Roman helmets. Buckling the small fish comes from the German Bückling. Buckra (a Black American contemptuous term for a white man) probably comes from the Efik mba-ka-re, master. The fabric buckram comes from Bukhara in Uzbekistan, which made textiles. Buckshee (which means costing nothing) comes from the Persian bakhshīsh, from bakhshīdan, to give. Buckwheat comes from the Middle Dutch boecweite, beechwheat - and buckyballs, a carbon-based molecule, is named after Richard Buckminster Fuller.


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