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

  • transitive v. To kiss.
  • n. A kiss.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kiss.
  • n. A herring buss, a type of shallow-keeled Dutch fishing boat used especially for herring fishing.
  • v. To kiss (either literally or figuratively).
  • v. To kiss.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kiss; a rude or playful kiss; a smack.
  • transitive v. To kiss; esp. to kiss with a smack, or rudely.
  • n. A small strong vessel with two masts and two cabins; -- used in the herring fishery.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To smack; kiss; salute with the lips.
  • To kiss.
  • n. A smack; a kiss; a salute with the lips.
  • n. A small vessel of from 50 to 70 tons burden, carrying two masts, and two sheds or cabins, one at each end, used in herring-fishing.
  • n. See bus.
  • n. A Scotch form of bush.
  • To dress; get ready.

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

  • v. touch with the lips or press the lips (against someone's mouth or other body part) as an expression of love, greeting, etc.
  • n. the act of caressing with the lips (or an instance thereof)


Possibly blend of obsolete bass (akin to French baiser) and obsolete cuss (akin to Middle English kissen, to kiss; see kiss), or from Scottish Gaelic bus, lips, mouth; see puss2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "A small vessel of from fifty to seventy tons, often used in herring fishery."

    March 2, 2010

  • "...there were occasions when Jack was tempted to ask his way of the many fishermen, English and Dutch, who haunted those perilous banks in their shallow-draught doggers, schuyts, busses, howkers, and even bugalets, and who made his progress all the more uneasy by lying across his hawse until the last possible minute or suddenly looming out of the darkness without a single light so that he had to throw all aback." --Patrick O'Brian, The Surgeon's Mate, 285

    February 9, 2008