Burchardise to Busby
Burchardise To speak ex cathedra; to speak with authority. Burchard (who died 1026) compiled a volume of canons of such undisputed authority, that any sentence it gave was beyond appeal.
Burchell (Mr.). A baronet who passes himself off as a poor man, his real name and title being Sir William Thornhill. His favourite cant word is Fudge. (Goldsmith. Vicar of Wakefield.)
Burd (Helen). The Scotch female impersonation of the French preux or prudhomme, with this difference, that she is discreet, rather than brave and wise.
Burden of a Song The words repeated in each verse, the chorus or refrain. It is the French bourdon,
the big drone of a bagpipe, or double-diapason of an organ, used in fortë parts and choruses.
The burden of proof is on the party holding the affirmative [because no one can prove a negative, except by reductio ad absurdum ].- Greenleaf: On Evidence (vol. i. part 2, chap. iii. p. 105).
Bure (2 syl.). The first woman, and sister of Borr, the father of Odin. (Scandinavian mythology.)
Bureaucracy A system of government in which the business is carried on in bureaux or departments. The French bureau means not only the office of a public functionary, but also the whole staff of officers attached to the department. As a word of reproach, bureaucracy has nearly the same meaning as Dickens's word, red-tapeism (q.v.).
Burglar [burg-larron ]. The robber of a burgh, castle, or house. Burglary is called, in ancient law-books, hamesecken or hám-secn, house-violation.
Burgundian A Burgundian blow, i.e. decapitation. The Duc de Biron, who was put to death for treason by Henri IV., was told in his youth, by a fortune-teller, to beware of a Burgundian blow. When going to execution, he asked who was to be his executioner, and was told he was a man from Burgundy.
Burial of an Ass No burial at all.
He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.- Jer. xxii. 19.
Buridan's Ass A man of indecision; like one on double business bound, who stands in pause where he should first begin, and both neglects. Buridan the scholastic said: If a hungry ass were placed exactly between two hay-stacks in every respect equal, it would starve to death, because there would be no motive why it should go to one rather than to the other.
Burke To murder by placing something over the mouth of the person attacked to prevent his giving
alarm. So called from Burke, an Irishman, who used to suffocate his victims and murder them for the
sole purpose of selling the dead bodies to surgeons for dissection. Hanged at Edinburgh, 1829.
Burkers Body-snatchers; those who kill by burking.
Burl, Burler In Cumberland, a burler is the master of the revels at a bidden-wedding, who is to see that the guests are well furnished with drink. To burl is to carouse or pour out liquor. (Anglo-Saxon, byrlian.)
Mr. H. called for a quart of beer. He told me to burl out the beer, as he was in a hurry, and I burled out the glass and gave it to him.- The Times: Law Reports.
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