Bosh to Boucan

Bosh A Persian word meaning nonsense. It was popularised in 1824 by James Morier in his Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan, a Persian romance. (Turkish, bosh lakerdi, silly talk.)

“I always like to read old Darwin's Loves of the Plants; bosh as it is in a scientific point of view.”- Kingsley: Two Years Ago (chap. x.).

Bosky On the verge of drunkenness. University slang, from bosko, to pasture, to feed. Everyone will remember how Sir John Falstaff made sack his meat and drink.

Bosom Friend (A ). A very dear friend. Nathan says, “It lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.” (2 Sam. xii. 3.) Bosom friend, amie du cœur. St. John is represented in the New Testament as the “bosom friend” of Jesus.

Bosom Sermons Written sermons, not extemporary ones or from notes. Does it not mean committed to memory or learnt by heart?

“The preaching from `bosom sermons,' or from writing, being considered a lifeless practice before the Reformation.”- Blunt: Reformation in England, p. 179.

Bosphorus =Ox ford. The Thracian Bosphorus, or Bosporus, unites the Sea of Marmora with the Euxine (2 syl.) or Black Sea. According to Greek fable, Zeus (Jupiter) greatly loved Io, and changed her into a white cow or heifer from fear of Hera or Juno; to flee from whom she swam across the strait, which was thence called bos poros, the passage of the cow. Hera discovered the trick, and sent a gadfly to torment Io, who was made to wander, in a state of phrenzy, from land to land. The wanderings of Io were a favourite subject of story with the ancients. Ultimately, the persecuted Argive princess found rest on the banks of the Nile.
   Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Valeriùs Flaccus give this account, but Accarion says it was a ship, with the prow of an ox, sent by some Thracians through the straits, that gave name to this passage.

Boss a master, is the Dutch baas, head of the household. Hence the great man, chief, a masher, a swell.

“Mr. Stead calls Mr. O'Connor the `Boss of the House.' ”

Bossum One of the two chief deities of the negroes on the Gold Coast, the other being Demonio. Bossum, the principle of good, is said to be white; and Demonio, the principle of evil, black. (African mythology.)

Bostal or Borstall. A narrow road-way up the steep ascent of hills or downs. (Anglo-Saxon biorh, a hill; stigelë, a rising path; our stile.)

Botanomancy Divination by leaves. Words were written on leaves which were exposed to the wind. The leaves left contained the response. (See Botany. )

Botany means a treatise on fodder (Greek, botane, fodder, from boskcin, to feed). The science of plants would be “phytology,” from phyton-logos (plant-treatise).

Botch A patch. Botch and patch are the same word; the older form was bodge, whence boggle. (Italian pezzo, pronounced patzo.)

Bother i.e. pother (Hibernian). Halliwell gives us blother, which he says means to chatter idly.

“ `Sir,' cries the umpire, `cease your pother,
The creature's neither one nor t'other.' ”
Lloyd: The Chameleon.
    The Irish bódhar (buaidhirt, trouble), or its cognate verb, to deafen, seems to be the original word.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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