- Chiefly British. to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.
- Canadian. to make a showy or noisy appeal.
Origin of busk
Examples from the Web for busking
They therefore decided that the band should go out "busking" each evening during Christmas week.From John O'Groats to Land's End
Robert Naylor and John Naylor
She is busking up her hair just as was gude enough for the old nuns, but no for kings and queens.'Two Penniless Princesses
Charlotte M. Yonge
Yet I had stayed this busking marriage Had not my brothers pressed me to such haste And peace not waited on it.The Mortal Gods and Other Plays
Olive Tilford Dargan
A younger daughter was sitting “busking her puppies” (dressing her puppets, dolls), as young girls are used to do.Witch Stories
E. Lynn (Elizabeth Lynn) Linton
- a strip of whalebone, wood, steel, etc, inserted into the front of a corset to stiffen it
- archaic, or dialect the corset itself
- (intr) British to make money by singing, dancing, acting, etc, in public places, as in front of theatre queues
- to make ready; prepare
- to dress or adorn
Word Origin and History for busking
1851, slang, described variously as selling articles or obscene ballads in public houses, playing music on the streets, or performing as a sort of informal stand-up comedy act in pubs, perhaps from an earlier word meaning "to cruise as a pirate" (see busker).
"strip of wood, whalebone, etc., used in corset-making," 1590s, probably from French busc (16c.), from Italian bosco "splinter," of Germanic origin (see bush (n.)).
"to prepare, to dress oneself," also "to go, set out," c.1300, probably from Old Norse buask "to prepare oneself," reflexive of bua "to prepare" (see bound (adj.2)) + contraction of Old Norse reflexive pronoun sik. Most common in northern Middle English and surviving chiefly in Scottish and northern English dialect. Related boun had the same senses in northern and Scottish Middle English. Related: Busked; busking.
The nautical term is attested from 1660s (in a general sense of "to tack, to beat to windward"), apparently from obsolete French busquer "to shift, filch, prowl," which is related to Italian buscare "to filch, prowl," Spanish buscar (from Old Spanish boscar), perhaps originally from bosco "wood" (see bush (n.)), with a hunting notion of "beating a wood" to flush game.