Yanson was lying on the snow, and about him people were busying themselves.
"So that's it," thought Patty, busying herself with the biscuit dough.
The old man stood crouched up in a corner behind the barn, and was busying himself over a heap of straw which lay there.
Darkness is falling, and Theresa is busying herself with something or another.
Stewart, who had been busying himself about the fire, now interrupted again.
They were puzzled to make out what it was he was busying himself with.
"You seem very curious about that watch," he said at last, turning away and busying himself with his stuffs.
Veritably I was busying myself for nothing over this old vestibule.
At his word she rose and went to the place bard by, where the fuel was piled, busying herself there.
Mary was now busying herself in closing and fastening these shutters.
Old English bisig "careful, anxious," later "continually employed or occupied," cognate with Old Dutch bezich, Low German besig; no known connection with any other Germanic or Indo-European language. Still pronounced as in Middle English, but for some unclear reason the spelling shifted to -u- in 15c.
The notion of "anxiousness" has drained from the word since Middle English. Often in a bad sense in early Modern English, "prying, meddlesome" (preserved in busybody). The word was a euphemism for "sexually active" in 17c. Of telephone lines, 1893. Of display work, "excessively detailed, visually cluttered," 1903.
late Old English bisgian, from busy (adj.). Related: Busied; busying.