Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A foot and leg covering reaching halfway to the knee, resembling a laced half boot.
  • n. A thick-soled laced half boot worn by actors of Greek and Roman tragedies.
  • n. Tragedy, especially that which resembles a Greek tragedy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A half-boot.
  • n. A type of boot worn by the ancient Athenian tragic actors; tragic drama, tragedy.
  • n. An instrument of torture for the foot; bootikin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A strong, protecting covering for the foot, coming some distance up the leg.
  • n. A similar covering for the foot and leg, made with very thick soles, to give an appearance of elevation to the stature; -- worn by tragic actors in ancient Greece and Rome. Used as a symbol of tragedy, or the tragic drama, as distinguished from comedy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A half-boot or high shoe strapped or laced to the ankle and the lower part of the leg.
  • n. A similar boot worn by the ancients; the cothurnus, particularly as worn by actors in tragedy. See cothurnus.
  • n. Hence Tragedy or the tragic drama, as opposed to comedy.
  • n. A low laced shoe worn by women.
  • n. pl. Eccl., stockings forming a part of the canonicals of a bishop, usually made of satin or embroidered silk.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a boot reaching halfway up to the knee

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration (influenced by buckskin) of obsolete French broisequin, small leather boot.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Apparently from Old French bousequin, variant of brousequin ( > modern brodequin), probably from Middle Dutch broseken, of unknown origin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I remembered Horace's 'Praecipe lugubres cantus, Melpomene,' and Cowley's 'I called the buskin'd muse Melpomene and told her what sad story I would write,' and suggested Melpomene, or Penthos: Melpomene was adopted. ”

    Autobiography

  • But, apart from the soldiers, neither sex wore any head covering, their thick hair seeming to afford them all the protection needed from the fierce rays of the vertical sun; but both sexes wore a kind of buskin of soft leather reaching to just below the knee, the sole consisting of a shaped piece of thick hide stitched on to the under part of the buskin.

    Through Veld and Forest An African Story

  • Pierre le grand: Or, "The poker chip" and "The buskin," Bacchus, and Aphrodite (not Venus), Comus, and Momus: exalting natural virtues and rebuking hypocracy both in church and state by J. W Rogers

    New York Times Hypes Iran Threat By Pretending Not To

  • He cast the leathern brogue or buskin from his right foot, planted himself in a firm posture, unsheathed his sword, and first looking around to collect his resolution, he bowed three times deliberately towards the holly-tree, and as often to the little fountain, repeating at the same time, with a determined voice, the following rhyme:

    The Monastery

  • The costume of an Amazonian crest and plume, a tucked-up vest, and a tight buskin of sky-blue silk, buckled with diamonds, reconciled Lady Binks to the part of Hippolyta.

    Saint Ronan's Well

  • (Id., acte i, scene 4) — The lonely east, how wearisome to me! — would not suit a lover in comedy; the figure of the “lonely east” is too elevated for the simplicity of the buskin.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • Mai fren wuz at SCA event, an da Wicked Tinkers wuz der too, buskin an stuff.

    rockstah kitteh - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • Ya know, I kinda like the Roman soldier buskin look, with the laces strapped around my legs.

    Lace Lament

  • Chantilly, which appeared in yesterday's 'Musee,' the satirist, making some disgraceful allusions to the cobbler's change of name upon assuming the buskin, quoted a Latin line about which we have often conversed.

    The Murders in the Rue Morgue

  • It must be the reading of tragedies that fills them with this superstition for the buskin and the pall, and not a sympathy with existing nature and the spirit of the age.

    Uncollected Prose

Comments

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  • as in `Buskin`d Amazon`

    April 11, 2009

  • Mevroueeewen!

    There's a sale on Manolo Blahkin buskins over at the Kaaaaterskill market. Deep discounts. Everything must go!

    October 19, 2008