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buskin

[buhs-kin]
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noun
  1. a thick-soled, laced boot or half boot.
  2. Also called cothurnus. the high, thick-soled shoe worn by ancient Greek and Roman tragedians.
  3. buskins, stockings decorated with gold thread worn by a bishop at a Pontifical Mass.
  4. tragic drama; tragedy.Compare sock1(def 3).
  5. the art of acting, especially tragic acting.
  6. a woman's low-cut shoe with elastic gores at the sides of the instep, popular in the early 20th century.
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Origin of buskin

1495–1505; probably alteration of Middle French bro(u)sequin, of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for buskin

Historical Examples

  • It must be admitted, he has well earned his nickname 'Buskin.'

    Hellenica

    Xenophon

  • Who welcome with the crowing of a cock, This hero of the buskin and sock.

  • But Buskin only muttered to herself, rubbed her elbow, and went quickly on.

    Susan

    Amy Walton

  • Here there were only two rooms, one for Buskin, the maid-servant, and the other unfurnished.

    Susan

    Amy Walton

  • We virgins of Tyre are wont to carry a quiver and to wear a buskin of purple.

    Stories from Virgil

    Alfred J. Church


British Dictionary definitions for buskin

buskin

noun
  1. (formerly) a sandal-like covering for the foot and leg, reaching the calf and usually laced
  2. Also called: cothurnus a thick-soled laced half boot resembling this, worn esp by actors of ancient Greece
  3. the buskin mainly literary tragic drama
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Word Origin

C16: perhaps from Spanish borzeguí; related to Old French bouzequin, Italian borzacchino, of obscure origin
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 buskin

n.

"half boot," c.1500, origin unknown. The word exists in different forms in most of the continental languages, and the exact relationship of them all apparently has yet to be determined. The English word is perhaps immediately from Old French broissequin "buskin; a kind of cloth" (14c., Modern French brodequin by influence of broder "to embroider"), or from Middle Dutch brosekin "small leather boot," which is of uncertain origin. OED suggests a likely candidate in Spanish borcegui, earlier boszegui

Figurative senses in English relating to tragedy are from the word being used (since mid-16c.) to translate Greek kothurnus, the high, thick-soled boot worn in Athenian tragedy; contrasted with sock, the low shoe worn by comedians. Related: Buskined.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper