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2017 Word of the Year

bull-roarer

[boo l-rawr-er, -rohr-] /ˈbʊlˌrɔr ər, -ˌroʊr-/
noun
1.
a wooden slat that produces a roaring sound when whirled around one's head on the end of a string or thong, used by some peoples of the world in religious ceremonies and by others as a toy.
Also called thunderstick.
Origin of bull-roarer
1880-1885
First recorded in 1880-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bull-roarer
Historical Examples
  • There is no record of a bull-roarer among the Melanesian folk.

    Evolution in Art Alfred C. Haddon
  • A snake is also painted on a Nahuqu bull-roarer (Fig. 103, G).

    Evolution in Art Alfred C. Haddon
  • By "staff" Mr. Ridley appears to indicate the Tundun, or bull-roarer.

  • A number of questions are naturally suggested by the bull-roarer.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • In the first place the bull-roarer is associated with mysteries and initiations.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • But Greek mysteries retained the daubing with mud and the use of the bull-roarer.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • We have studied the bull-roarer in Australia, we have caught a glimpse of it in England.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • We do not learn, however, that women in Zuni are forbidden to look upon the bull-roarer.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • We have already examined in ‘The bull-roarer’ a very similar example.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • In the first place, the bull-roarer is associated with mysteries and initiations.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang

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