Old English ban "bone, tusk," from Proto-Germanic *bainam (cf. Old Frisian ben, Old Norse bein, Danish ben, German Bein). No cognates outside Germanic (the common PIE root is *os-; see osseous); the Norse, Dutch, and German cognates also mean "shank of the leg," and this is the main meaning in Modern German, but English never seems to have had this sense.
especially in bone up "study," 1880s student slang, probably from "Bohn's Classical Library," a popular series in higher education published by German-born English publisher Henry George Bohn (1796-1884) as part of a broad series of "libraries" he issued from 1846, totaling 766 volumes, continued after 1864 by G. Bell & Sons.
The dense, semirigid, porous, calcified connective tissue forming the major portion of the skeleton of most vertebrates, consisting of a dense organic matrix and an inorganic, mineral component.
Any of the more than 200 anatomically distinct structures making up the human skeleton.
A piece of bone.
[origin unknown; the form find no bones, found by 1459, may indicate that the reference is to bones in soup or stew, which would hinder the eating, hence hold the matter up]
A diligent student
(also bone up) To study, esp to study intensely for an examination
[College students 1880s+; fr the student's use of bohns, ''translations, ponies,'' named after Bohn's Classical Library]