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90s Slang You Should Know


[bluhn-der-buhs] /ˈblʌn dərˌbʌs/
a short musket of wide bore with expanded muzzle to scatter shot, bullets, or slugs at close range.
an insensitive, blundering person.
Origin of blunderbuss
1645-55; < Dutch donderbus (equivalent to donder thunder + bus gun, box1) with donder replaced by blunder. See harquebus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for blunderbuss
Historical Examples
  • A glimmer of a smile came to her face, and she raised the blunderbuss, pointing it full at my breast.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • Garcia came up, and fired his blunderbuss full into his face.

    Carmen Prosper Merimee
  • We found old Thomas waiting at the hall door with his blunderbuss on his shoulder.

    Dick Cheveley W. H. G. Kingston
  • With this hurried adjuration, he cocked his blunderbuss, and stood on the offensive.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • From the days of the Maxim gun and the Lee-Metford to the days of the howitzer and the blunderbuss.

    Drer Herbert E. A. (Herbert Ernest Augustus) Furst
  • However, a sensible man holds no long discussions with a blunderbuss.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • No, no,—my blunderbuss is loaded, and 66 the villains cannot escape.

    The Rambles of a Rat A. L. O. E.
  • But always this man stolidly faced me with the yawning mouth of the blunderbuss.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • Who cou'd divine your Meaning, when you talk'd of a blunderbuss, who thought of a Rendevous?

    The Busie Body Susanna Centlivre
  • "Here approaches Strammers in quest of his blunderbuss," she answered calmly.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
British Dictionary definitions for blunderbuss


an obsolete short musket with large bore and flared muzzle, used to scatter shot at short range
(informal) a clumsy unsubtle person
Word Origin
C17: changed (through the influence of blunder) from Dutch donderbus; from donderthunder + obsolete bus gun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blunderbuss

1650s, from Dutch donderbus, from donder "thunder" (Middle Dutch doner, donder, from Proto-Germanic *thunaraz; see thunder (n.)) + bus "gun" (originally "box, tube"); altered by resemblance to blunder.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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