Bulletin to Burbon

Bulletin French for a certificate. An official report of an officer to his superior, or of medical attendants respecting the health of persons of notoriety; so called because they were authenticated by an official bulla or seal. (Spanish, botetin, a warrant; Italian, bullettino, a roll.)

Bulling the Barrel is pouring water into a rum cask, when it is nearly empty, to prevent its leaking. The water, which gets impregnated with the spirit and is very intoxicating, is called bull.
   Seamen talk of bulling the teapot (making a second brew), bulling the coffec, etc.

Bullion properly means the mint where bolla, little round coins, are made. Subsequently the metal in the mint.

Bully To overbear with words. A bully is a blustering menacer. (Anglo-Saxon, bulgian, to bellow like a bull.)    It is often used, without any mixture of reproof, as a term of endearment, as:-

“O sweet bully Bottom.”- Midsummer Night's Dream, iv. 4.

“Bless thee, bully doctor.”- Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 3.

Bully-boy (A). A jolly companion, a “brick.” (German, buhle, a lover; buhler, a gallant.)

“We be three poor mariners
Newly come from the seas,
We spend our lives in jeopardy,
While others live at ease;
Shall we go dance the round, the round,
Shall we go dance the round?
And he that is a bully boy
Come pledge me on this ground.”
Deuteromelia. (1609.)
Bully-rook A blustering cheat. Like bully, it is sometimes used without any offensive meaning. Thus the Host, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, addresses Sir John Falstaff, Ford, and Page, etc., as bully-rook - “How now, my bully-rook?” equal to “my fine fellow.”
    A bully rake is “one who fights for fighting's sake.” To bully-rag is to intimidate; bully- ragging is abusive intimidation. According to Halliwell, a rag is a scold, and hence a “ragging” means a scolding. Connected with rage.

Bum-bailiff    The French pousse-cul seems to favour the notion that bum -bailiff is no corruption. These officers are frequently referred to as bums.

“Scout me for him at the corner of the orchard, like a bum-bailiff.”
   Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, iii. 4.

Bum-boat A small wide boat to carry provisions to vessels lying off shore. Also called “dirt-boats,” being used for removing filth from ships lying in the Thames. (Dutch, bumboot, a wide fishing boat. In Canada a punt is called a bun. A bun is a receptacle for keeping fish alive.)

Bumble A beadle. So called from the officious, overbearing beadle in Dicken's Oliver Twist.

Bumbledom The dominion of an overbearing parish officer, the arrogance of parish authorities, the conceit of parish dignity. (See above.)

Bummarees A class of middlemen or fish-jobbers in Billingsgate Market, who get a living by bummareeing, i.e. buying parcels of fish from the salesmen, and then retailing them. A corruption of bonne marée, good fresh fish, or the seller thereof. According to the Dictionnaire de l'Académie, marée means toute sorte de poisson de mer que n'est pas salé. Bonne marée, marée fraiche.

Bumper A full glass, generally connected with a “toast.” Dr. Arn says a bumper is when the surface of the wine bumps up in the middle. (French, bomber, to render convex, to bulge or swell out.)

“A fancied connection with bump, a swelling, has not only influenced the form of the word, but [has] added the notion of fulness.”- Skeat: Etymological Dictionary.

Bumpkin A loutish person. (Dutch, boomken, a sprout, a fool.) This word very closely resembles the word “chit.” (See Chitty .)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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