from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tempest; a storm.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Smacks of carelessness. I mean, what was the EU doing about all these boat people at the time? And the dragon problem?

    June 15, 2016

  • I've lost count of the number of European cities that were founded at the site of a dragon slaying by voyagers who had abandoned their boat.

    June 15, 2016

  • Continuing to reflect on the thin documentation for bourasque I am now thinking that most lexicographers who have considered the matter may have decided that its rare occurrences are simply instances of a French word misspelled.

    June 15, 2016

  • According to the Golden Legend, an 11th century compendium of hagiography, three siblings prominent in the New Testament made their way to the South of France in the first century, AD. These were Martha, Mary (in this tale a conflation of Martha’s sister Mary and Mary Magdalen) and Lazarus, their brother who had been raised from the dead by Jesus. Pagans had set these three adrift on the Mediterranean in a boat with neither sail nor rudder but by miraculous intervention they landed safely near Marseille. There they set up shop as miracle workers.
    The region around the mouth of the Rhône river had long been ravaged by a fierce dragon called the Tarasque. With hymns and holy water Martha tamed the Tarasque and led it back to the village it had been terrorizing. The villagers killed the unresisting beast, regretted doing so, and as a token of their remorse renamed the village Tarascon.

    Traversing the Med's a tough task,
    Becalmed or else tossed by bourasque,
    And then you arrive
    Where locals connive
    To get you to tame the tarasque.

    June 15, 2016

  • I find bourasque defined only in Century and Collins. None of the other internet-accesible dictionaries (not even the OED) include it. However bourrasque (with a double ‘r’) is routinely included in French dictionaries where it is defined as a storm or a gust of wind. Google Translator renders it as squall. It is odd that it should have been borrowed into English with an altered spelling and then hardly ever used.

    June 15, 2016

  • JM reckons it’s all a bourasque in a demitasse

    April 25, 2011