American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To play music or perform entertainment in a public place, usually while soliciting money.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To get ready; prepare; equip; dress: as, to busk a fish-hook.
- To use; employ.
- To get ready and go; hasten; hurry.
- n. An obsolete form of bush.
- To seek; hunt up and down; cast about; beat about.
- Nautical, to beat to windward along a coast; cruise off and on.
- n. A stiffened body-garment, as a doublet, corset, or bodice.
- n. A flexible strip of wood, steel, whalebone, or other stiffening material, placed in the front of stays to keep them in form.
- n. An Indian feast of first fruits.
- To cruise as a pirate.
- To earn a livelihood by going about singing, playing, and selling ballads, or as an acrobat, juggler, etc., in public houses, steamboats, on the street, etc.
- n. A strip of metal, whalebone, wood, or other material, worn in the front of a corset to stiffen it.
- n. by extension A corset.
- n. obsolete A kind of linen.
- v. To prepare; to make ready; to array; to dress.
- v. intransitive To solicit money by entertaining the public in the street or in public transport
- v. nautical To tack, to cruise about.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A thin, elastic strip of metal, whalebone, wood, or other material, worn in the front of a corset.
- n. Among the Creek Indians, a feast of first fruits celebrated when the corn is ripe enough to be eaten. The feast usually continues four days. On the first day the new fire is lighted, by friction of wood, and distributed to the various households, an offering of green corn, including an ear brought from each of the four quarters or directions, is consumed, and medicine is brewed from snakeroot. On the second and third days the men physic with the medicine, the women bathe, the two sexes are taboo to one another, and all fast. On the fourth day there are feasting, dancing, and games.
- v. Scot. & Old Eng. To prepare; to make ready; to array; to dress.
- v. obsolete To go; to direct one's course.
- v. play music in a public place and solicit money for it
- Apparently from French busquer or Spanish buscar. (Wiktionary)
- Earlier, to be an itinerant performer, probably from busk, to go about seeking, cruise as a pirate, perhaps from obsolete French busquer, to prowl, from Italian buscare, to prowl, or Spanish buscar, to seek, from Old Spanish boscar. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Jamieson (Scottish Dictionary) says: "The term busk is employed in a beautiful proverb which is very commonly used in Scotland, 'A bonny bride is soon busked. ”
“Jamieson (Scottish Dictionary) says: "The term busk is employed in a beautiful proverb which is very commonly used in Scotland,”
“To busk is to play music on the street or subway, likely with an instrument case laid open so passersby can toss money in appreciation.”
“Indeed, her laudable anxiety to be tidy and compact in her own conscience as well as in the public eye, gave rise to one of her most startling evolutions, which was to grasp herself sometimes by a sort of wooden handle (part of her clothing, and familiarly called a busk), and wrestle as it were with her garments, until they fell into a symmetrical arrangement.”
“The schoolmistress in those days wore what was called a busk -- a flat piece of lancewood, hornbeam, or some other like tough and elastic wood, thrust into a sort of pocket or sheath in her dress, which came up almost to the chin and came down below the waist.”
“This look was achieved by inserting a skinny piece of bone or wood, called a busk, in a corset extending from the chest to low on the abdomen and forcing the body into an "S" shape.”
“Would it not be well if we were to celebrate such a "busk," or "feast of first fruits," as Bartram describes to have been the custom of the Mucclasse Indians?”
“These "people of the one fire" celebrated the "busk," in an 8-day ceremonial rebirth of the mind and spirit, by repairing the temple and grounds, and the cleaning of houses.”
“We would all have 36 hours to blag, beg and busk our way around the globe.”
“She used to busk with River as a three-year-old to raise money for their family.”
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