Origin of bully

1
First recorded in 1530–40, bully is from the Middle Dutch word boele lover
Related formsbul·ly·a·ble, adjectiveun·bul·lied, adjectiveun·bul·ly·ing, adjective

Synonyms for bully

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for bullier

Contemporary Examples of bullier

Historical Examples of bullier

  • Take him all round, pard, there never was a bullier man in the mines.

    Roughing It

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • I still have time to appear at Bullier's and meet Zoe Mirilton.

  • He had fitted her out for an evening at the Bullier for twenty-five francs.

    Mlle. Fouchette

    Charles Theodore Murray

  • But the “Bullier” is closing and the crowd is pouring out into the cool air.

    The Real Latin Quarter

    F. Berkeley Smith

  • Gaining in audacity, he danced at Bullier's, dined at Foyd's, and at last had a mistress.

    Other People's Money

    Emile Gaboriau


British Dictionary definitions for bullier

bully

1

noun plural -lies

a person who hurts, persecutes, or intimidates weaker people
archaic a hired ruffian
obsolete a procurer; pimp
obsolete a fine fellow or friend
obsolete a sweetheart; darling

verb -lies, -lying or -lied

(when tr , often foll by into) to hurt, intimidate, or persecute (a weaker or smaller person), esp to make him do something

adjective

dashing; jollymy bully boy
informal very good; fine

interjection

Also: bully for you informal well done! bravo!

Word Origin for bully

C16 (in the sense: sweetheart, hence fine fellow, hence swaggering coward): probably from Middle Dutch boele lover, from Middle High German buole, perhaps childish variant of bruoder brother

bully

2

noun plural -lies

any of various small freshwater fishes of the genera Gobiomorphus and Philynodon of New ZealandAlso called (NZ): pakoko, titarakura, toitoi

Word Origin for bully

C20: short for cockabully
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

Word Origin and History for bullier

bully

n.

1530s, originally "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from Dutch boel "lover; brother," probably a diminutive of Middle Dutch broeder "brother" (cf. Middle High German buole "brother," source of German Buhle "lover;" see brother (n.)).

Meaning deteriorated 17c. through "fine fellow" and "blusterer" to "harasser of the weak" (1680s, from bully-ruffian, 1650s). Perhaps this was by influence of bull (n.1), but a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" may be in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of bully (though not specifically attested until 1706). The expression meaning "worthy, jolly, admirable" (especially in 1864 U.S. slang bully for you!) is first attested 1680s, and preserves an earlier, positive sense of the word.

bully

v.

1710, from bully (n.). Related: Bullied; bullying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper