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Babbitt – eponym: a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards

Babylonish – toponym: Babel-like, confused in language (among other meanings)

bacchanal – (accent on either first or last syllable) 1. a bacchanalia (oft. cap.) 2. a participant in one

bacchanalia – eponym: a riotous, boisterous, or drunken festivity; an orgy (adjective form is bacchanalian)

back-formation – a word that is formed from what appears to be its derivative

backlist – publisher's list of older titles kept in print

baculum – penis bone (which many animals have)

badinage – playful repartee; banter

Baedeker – eponym: a guidebook to countries or a country; more generally, a guidebook to places

bafflegab – gobbledygook

bahuvrihi – a compound word, ending with a noun, that does not function as a noun of that sort

bakeapple – a low plant growing in bogs and producing an amber berry in late summer; cloudberry

bakelite – eponym: tradename of an early, successful plastic

balaclava – toponym: a close-fitting woolen hat covering the head and encircling the neck

baldachin – toponym: a ceremonial canopy over an altar, throne, or doorway.

balkanized; Balkanized – fragmented into small and mutually hostile units

ballade – a poem of three stanzas plus an envoy (brief concluding stanza), each ending with the same refrain

ballcock – the floating ball that controls the water level inside your toilet tank

ballistophobia – fear of bullets, ammunition and guns

ballpark – adj: approximate (used of quantity; you would never say, for example, "That is a ballpark copy of Da Vinci's painting.") noun: the approximate range of.

ballpark figure – an approximation; typically an initial or early approximation)

bamboozle – confuse, cheat, hoodwink, mislead

bandicoot – a certain Australian marsupial

bandy-legged – with legs that curve outward at the knees [Bandy was a 17c. Irish game]

banger – Brit: a sausage (in the literal sense)

banns – an announcement in church for an intended marriage

banoffi pie – a flan filled with bananas, toffee, and cream

bant – eponym: to diet, esp. a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet

banty – a small breed of chicken

banzai attack; banzai charge – an all-out usually desperate attack

Baphomet – sometimes used as a synonym for "Satan" or "the Devil"

Barbie doll – eponym: a blandly attractive but vacuous young woman

barefaced – shameless: a barefaced lie

barm – froth on beer; sometimes called fob

barmecide – eponym: one who tantalizes as at a Barmecide feast. Think of it as a "cock-tease", but not limited to sex.

Barmecide feast – eponym: illusory benefits held out to tantalize and torment, or to manipulate, the victim

barmy – odd, eccentric, daft, extremely foolish [also, the adjective form of barm – the froth on beer, or on a fermenting malt liquor]

barnumize – eponym: to advertise or promote by exaggerated claims and hyperbole

barratry – the offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones

barrow – a cart for carrying small loads; also, a mound over a burial site; also, a pig castrated before sexual maturity [interesting combination here!]

basal plate – see geophyte

basilisk – a monster of myth, having the power to kill by its glance

bastille – a jail

bathemetric – regarding measurement of the depths of an ocean or other body of water

bathos – 1. triteness, commonplaceness 2. anticlimax; sudden shift from elevated matter to commonplace

bathyal – of ocean depths below neritic (200 meters), to 4,000 meters

bathypelagic – relating to a depth of about 600 to 3,000 meters (say some sources)

bawcock – a fine fellow (term of endearment)

baxter – a baker; originally a female baker. [Old Eng. & Scotch]

Bayesian filter – a technique typically used to distinguish spam from non-spam

bdelloid – like a leech

beadle – a minor parish official formerly used to usher and keep order during services

beatific – angelic; showing or producing exalted joy or blessedness

beatitude – 1. supreme blessedness or happiness 2. Heaven (in the sense of a place)

beau brummell – eponym: a dandy; a fop

beau ideal – the perfect type or model

beau monde – the world of high society and fashion

beck – a small brook

bedabble – (trans. v, from 'dabble') to dabble upon; to sprinkle or wet

beddable – (informal, from 'bed') sexually attractive or available

bedlam – a scene of noisy disorder and confusion. (root sense: a madhouse)

bee – a meeting for communal work or competition: a spelling bee, a quilting bee

beelzebub – the Devil, or an evil spirit, a demon (literally means "Lord of Dung" or "Lord of the Flies")

beer pong – a certain popular collegiate drinking-game

beer-engine – the pump used to raise the beer from the cellar to the bar. Typically operated by a truncheon-shaped handle on the bar counter

beestings – the first milk given by a cow after calving

begging the question – argument by taking, as a premise, the very conclusion to be proved [term is often misused]

behindhand – 1. late; behind schedule; particularly, in arrears on a debt. 2. backward, in respect to what is seasonable or appropriate. (Wordcrafter note: in other words, out of style). 3. being in an inferior position

belcher – eponym: a small blue scarf with white dots

beldam – a elderly woman, esp. an ugly evil-looking one [Wordcrafter note: I would say, "a hag or harpy."]

belfry – a bell tower. (the bel- originally had nothing to do with bells. It was either "to protect" or "high place" (the frij = peace, safety), and hence the word meant "a protected (or high) place of safety")

belgard – a sweet or loving look

Belial – the spirit of evil personified

belie – 1. fail to give a true idea of 2. show to be untrue or unjustified

bellicose – aggressive and ready to fight

belligerati – writers and other members of the intelligentsia who advocate war or imperialism

bellwether – a leader of trends, or a leading indicator of trends

Belsen – any very unpleasant place [toponym, from German death camp]

Beltway – (toponym; typically in the phrase inside the Beltway:) the political establishment of Washington, D.C., including federal officeholders, lobbyists, consultants, and media commentators

belvedere – a structure designed to command a view (e.g., gazebo, cupola, tower)

benedict – eponym: a newly married man; esp. an apparently confirmed bachelor who marries

Benedict Arnold – eponym: a traitor (I do not find this in dictionaries as a word, but easily find it in the press.)

benighted – ignorant or unenlightened

benison – a blessing

benthic; benthonic – of or living in the deepest part (however deep it may be) of an ocean or lake (benthos – the ocean- or lake-bottom) (contrast pelagic)

berdache – among certain Native American peoples, a person, usually a male, who assumes the gender identity and is granted the social status of the opposite sex

Beretta – eponym: a pistol manufactured by the Beretta company [Though dictionaries do not say so, I think the word is not used solely as a trade name, but rather can refer to any smallish pistol.] [also: same as biretta]

bergamask – toponym (Bergamo, Italy): a  country dance (used by Shakespeare, in Mid.N.Dream, as “Bergomask”)

berk – a stupid person that is easily taken advantage of

besom – 1. a broom made of twigs tied round a stick 2. derog.; ch. Scot. & N.Engl.: a woman or girl

bete noire (or bκte noire) – something especially hated or dreaded; a bugbear

betide – to happen to (transitive); to take place; to befall (intransitive)

between Scylla and Charybdis – see Scylla and Charybdis

bezoar – a stone from the stomach of a goat; was believed to be a universal antidote to poisons

bialy – toponym: a flat, round baked roll topped with onion flakes (somewhat like a bagel but, unlike the bagel, it is not boiled before baking). Named after the town of Bialystok.

biannual – occurring twice a year; semiannual (contrast biennial)

biblophile – a lover of books; also, a book collector

bicorne – a two-horned monster that eats patient or henpecked husbands (compare chichevache)

bidet [etymology] – this familiar word comes from the French for a small horse or pony; that is, one easily straddled

biennial – occurring every second year (contrast biannual)

bifucated – forked; divided into two branches

Big Bertha – eponym: a huge "mobile" long-range Ger gun in WWI. Now used as a name for a golf club.

big brother – an all-powerful government monitoring and directing people's actions

Big-endian – a party in a long and vehement dispute over a trifling matter [His opponent is a Little-endian.]

bight [pronounced like bite] – 1. a loop in a rope; also, the middle, slack part of an extended rope 2. a bend or curve in a shoreline (or other); also, a wide bay formed by such a bend or curve

bikini (etymology) – toponym: after Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands

bikkie – Australian slang: biscuit

bilbo – 1. an iron bar to which sliding fetters are attached 2. a sword with a hard, flexible blade

bildungsroman – a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character (synonym: entwicklungsroman)

bilge – 1. the rounded low part of a ship’s hull, curving to meet the vertical sides; also, the area it encloses. thus: 2. the dirty water that collects there. thus: 3. nonsense; rubbish. (## 2 and 3 also called 'bilge water')

bilious – of peevish disposition; ill-humored

billetΉ – a loop or pocket for securing the end of a buckled harness strap; also called a keeper

billet² – noun lodging for soldiers, or an order for their lodging; verb to provide housing for soldiers

billet-doux – a love letter (literally, sweet letter) (plural billets-doux)

billingsgate – foul-mouthed abuse

billion – to USns, a thousand million; to UKers a million millions, which USns call a 'trillion'. That is, a UK 'billion' means what USns call a 'trillion': ten to the twelfth power.

billycan – Australian: any container in which water may be carried and boiled over a campfire, ranging from a makeshift tin can to a special earthenware kettle

bimester – a period of two months

bimestral – every two month

bimonthly – bimonthly and biweekly mean ‘every two months/weeks'. For ‘twice a month/week’, semimonthly and semiweekly should be used.

bird-dog (verb) – 1. to pursue with dogged determination; to pester relentlessly 2. to scout or search for (noun, N. Amer. colloq. – a scout, esp. (Sport) a talent scout)

biretta – a hat of the sort by Roman Catholic clergy: a stiff square cap with three or four ridges across the crown.

birkie – a lively, engaging, intelligent clean-cut, confident person

birl – 1. to cause (a floating log) to spin rapidly by rotating with the feet 2. to spin (noun: a whirring noise; a hum)

biro – eponym; British: a ballpoint pen

birr – 1. a whirring sound 2. strong forward momentum; driving force (verb: to make a whirring sound)

bissextile – relating to a leap year, or to its extra day

bivouac – a temporary camp without tents or cover (verb: to stay in such a camp)

biweekly – bimonthly and biweekly mean ‘every two months/weeks'. For ‘twice a month/week’, semimonthly and semiweekly should be used.

bizarre [odd etymology] – arguably from a scandal of incest, infidelity, infanticide and intrigue among the elite of 1790s Virginia

black – may have originally meant white

Black Friday – U.S.: the day after Thanksgiving [Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November], traditional start of Christmas shopping.

black gold (oxymoron) – crude oil; unrefined petroleum

black hole – astronomy: an object whose gravity is so strong that nothing can escape, no matter how fast it moves (not even light). metaphoric: something that continually consumes and never releases resources or other thing.

black maria – eponym: a patrol wagon to round up criminals and drunks

black sheep – a bad character from an otherwise respectable group

black-bag job – slang: entry and search by federal investigators without a warrant

blackjack – U.S.: a short weapon for bludgeoning, consisting of a weighted head and a pliable handle

blackmail – from "mal," Old English for tribute or rent. Warlords in ancient Scotland used to force farmers to pay mal as protection.

blackshirt – a member of a fascist organization

blackwash – to blacken the character of by highlighting the faults of (noun: something that does so; the act of doing so)

blade – informal, dated: a dashing young man; a gallant, a free-and-easy fellow, a good fellow [among other definitions, of course]

blain – a blister; an inflammatory skin swelling or sore

blatherskite – 1. a babbling, foolish person. 2. blather

blindside – to catch or take unawares, especially with harmful or detrimental results. (from US football)

blither – to make long and rambling talk, without sense; to blather (noun: such talk)

Blondinette – a breed of cute, plump show pigeons [French for "little blonde girl". "Blondinette" is also the name for the Blondie comic strip as it appears in France.]

bloody mary – eponym: a cocktail made with vodka and spicy tomato juice

bloomers – eponym: women's loose trousers gathered about the ankles and worn under a short skirt

bloviate – to speak or write verbosely and windily

blower – Australian slang: telephone

blow-in – an outsider who arrives suddenly (e.g., a carpetbagger)

blow-in card – the card in a magazine, to be completed and sent in for a subscription, etc.

blowmaunger – a person who is fat to the point that his/her cheeks are puffed out (see fussock)

blucher – eponym: a type of high shoe or half boot

blue – Australian slang: a fight or argument

blue book –
UK: a report bound in a blue cover and issued by Parliament or the Privy Council (obsolete?) U.S.: 1. a blank notebook with blue covers, for the answers to examination questions 2. a periodically issued price list (as of used cars) (also further US meanings)

blue dog democrat – an open-minded Democrat willing to support some conservative policies (contrast yellow dog democrat)

blue state or red state – U.S. states which predominantly vote for the Republican party (red) or the Democratic party (blue) respectively, esp. in presidential elections

bluebeard – eponym: man who repeatedly marries and kills wives

blue-pencil – to edit, revise, or correct with or as if with a blue pencil

bluestocking – eponym: a woman having intellectual or literary interests

blurb – coinage: a short promotional description of a book, film, or other products

blype – Scot: a thin skin or membrane, esp. a small piece of skin

bob – British slang: the old shilling (see coins and currency)

bobby – eponym: Brit. policeman

bobo – a bourgeois bohemian

bob's your uncle – eponym: Brit. phrase for something easily achieved

bobtail – an animal with a short or shortened tail; that tail itself; also, something that has been cut short or abbreviated. rag, tag, and bobtail – the rabble

bodach – a small, vile beast of fable, who comes down chimneys to carry off naughty children.

bodhran – hand-held goatskin drum used in traditional Irish music. (Interestingly, the name traces to the Old Irish for "deaf; deafening")

Bodoni – eponym: a printing type, based on Boldoni’s designs

boeotian – a dull, obtuse person (think "dull country bumpkin")

bogart – eponym: to hog a thing; take more than one's share

Bohr bug – eponym: computer programming (software): repeatable bug (contrast heisenbug)

boilermaker – slang: a drink of whiskey with a beer chaser

bold-faced – impudent; brazen

bole – 1. tree trunk 2. a reddish-brown colored clay; the reddish brown pigment from that clay

bolshevik – an extreme radical – “a literary Bolshevik”

bolson – a flat arid valley surrounded by mountains (can drain into a shallow central lake)

bolus – 1. a medicine of round shape for swallowing, larger than an ordinary pill (also fig.) 2. a small rounded mass of any substance 3. a large intravenous dose of medicine

bombast [cotton] – see bombastic

bombastic – grandiose but with little meaning [a stuffing made of cotton fiber was called bombast, from Greek bombux "silkworm"]

bon mot – a clever remark; witticism

bon vivant – ("bon vee-vahnt') a person indulging in a sociable and luxurious lifestyle, especially one who enjoys superb food and drink (also here)

boniface – eponym: the proprietor of a hotel, nightclub, or restaurant

bonne bouche – a delicious morsel, as a treat (also used figuratively)

bonze – an impolite but not necessarily offensive name for a Japanese clergyman. from the Portuguese bonzo

bonzer – Australian slang: great

boobley – Australian slang: a big fight/argument

boobocracy – the booboisie, viewed as a social or political force

booboisie – the general public – implies that its members are stupid, uncultured boobs inferior to the speaker [blend of boob and bourgeoisie]

boohai – an out of the way, remote or non-existent place; often in "up the boohai" to mean lost, or "up the boohai shooting pukakas" meaning lost, possibly in the head.

boolean algebra – a mathematical system for algebraic manipulation of logical statements

boolean – pertaining to boolean algebra

boomerang baby – see boomerang kid

boomerang kid – a young person past high-school age who, after college or a period of independence, returns to live in the parental home

boomslang – a large and dangerous snake, up to 6 feet long and one of the most venomous snakes in the world.

boondocks – slang: 1. wild and dense brush; jungle 2. rural country; the backwoods

boot hill – a graveyard, esp. one whose occupants died in a violent fight

Borachio – eponym: a drunkard

borborygmi – intestinal rumblings caused by moving gas [singular borborygm; borborygmus; adj. borborygmic]

boreal – eponym: of the north; of or like the north wind

bork (verb) – eponym: to systematically attack a public figure, esp. in the media

borough – a town [as distinct from a city]

bosie – eponym: Australian slang: a cricket ball, bowled as if to break one way, that breaks the opposite way

Boston fern – a toponym. No definition needed.

Boswell – eponym: an assiduous and devoted recorder of another's life, words and deeds

bot – a software program that imitates the behavior of a human

botanomancy – divination by herbs [dictionary at mancy lists 54 form of divination]

bourse – AHD – a stock exchange, esp. one in a continental European city. M-W – a place where merchants, bankers, etc., meet for business at certain hours; esp. the Stock Exchange of Paris

boustrophedon – writing in which the lines run alternately from right to left and from left to right [like an ox plowing successive furrows; Gk. ox-turning­]

bovine – like a cow

bowdler – a worker in iron ore (obsolete)

bowdlerize – eponym: to expurgate prudishly, by deleting or editing matter deemed indelicate

Bowie knife – eponym: a heavy hunting, fighting and throwing knife

bowler – eponym: a derby hat

boycott – eponym: from Charles C. Boycott (1832-1897), a landowner in County Mayo, Ireland

braggadocio – eponym: empty, vain bragging

braille – eponym: a system of writing for the blind [Devised by Louis Braille, who was blind from age ~4]

branks (sometimes brank) – a metal cage for the head, often with a metal bit attached to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds (also called scold's bridle)

brattice – a partition for ventilation in the shaft of a coal pit [to brattice up: to line the sides of a shaft, with planking]

bread crumbs – a website navigation technique: links back to each previous page that the user navigates through in order to get to the current page. Basically, they provide a trail for the user to follow back.

breaking the fourth wall – when a fictional character "steps out" and shows awareness of the fictional medium and the audience watching

breve – the curved mark indicating the short pronunciation of a vowel, as in ă (see diacritical mark)

brevet – a temporary promotion without pay increase

brewster – a female brewer (later, extended to both sexes: a brewer)

bric-ΰ-brac – miscellaneous objects of little value; typically ornamental [From old Fr. phrase ΰ bric et ΰ brac at random, any old way.]

bridegroom (etymology)

bridgebuilder – a peacemaker; an arbitrator; one who seeks to help opposing sides understand each others positions, and to reconcile their differences

bright-line rule – law: a legal rule that resolves issues and ambiguities simply and straight-forwardly, providing certainty but sometimes sacrificing fairness

brirfft – see squeans

bris (or brith) – Judaism: the rite of circumcision (male), performed on the eighth day after birth

Brobdingnagian – gigantic; immense; enormous (from Gulliver's Travels)

brocade – a firework star that burns long, so that it leaves down-drooping trails of light as it falls

brodie – eponym: "do a brodie" - take a chance (old U.S. slang)

bromatology – a treatise or essay on food

brontide – the sound of distant thunder, when produced by seismic events [also the sound of thunder itself?]

Bronx cheer – a loud sound, imitating a fart, used to express contemptuous or derisive scorn. It is produced by vibrating the lips while exhaling explosively. (can be used figuratively)

Brother Jonathan – eponym: the people of the United States collectively

brougham – eponym: a car, or a closed carriage, with an open driver's seat        

brownie points – favor in another's eyes, esp. due to one's sycophantic behavior

Browning machine gun – eponym: a belt-fed machine gun that fired over 500 rounds per minute, used by U.S. troops in World War II and the Korean War.

bruin – eponym: a bear

brunneous – dark brown (chiefly used is biology, often in the form of brunneus)

bruschetta – an Italian dish, made with grilled garlic bread

brut – a taste classification for champagne, having a crisp, dry taste. "Extra-brut" does not mean a drier champagne, but a sweeter one.

bruxism – habitual, involuntary gritting or grinding the teeth, esp. when in stress or during sleep, as from anger, tension, fear, or frustration

bubo (adj. bubonic) – a swollen inflamed lymph node in the armpit or groin

buckaroo – a cowboy; a cattle-driver [an Anglicized version of vaquero, from California]

buckley's chance – eponym; Australian slang: remote, scant hope

buckminsterfullerene – the first known fullerene molecule; named for R. Buckminster Fuller because its structure resembles Fuller's geodesic domes

buckyball – a short name for buckminsterfullerene

buckytube – any tube-shaped fullerene molecule

BUFO (knitting) – boring unfinished object (compare UFO – unfinished object)

bugaboo – 1. a bogeyman to frighten children. 2a. a recurring or persistent problem; 2b. a subject of anxious (and typically excessive) concern

bugger-all – Australian slang: very little

buggery, go to – Australian slang: go to hell!

bugle – an ox-word. originally buglehorn, a horn made from the horn of an ox, from Old French. bugle wild ox, and Latin buculus heifer, young ox

bulb – see geophyte

bumbershoot – an umbrella

bumbledom – eponym: fussy official pomposity and stupidity, especially as displayed by a minor official

bumboat – a small boat for ferrying goods for sale to a ship at anchor or at a mooring

bung – the plug for a hole in a barrel, etc. verb to close with a bung

bunghole – a hole in a cask, to empty or fill it

bunny boiler – slang; derogatory: an obsessive and psychotic vindictive woman, a la Glenn Close in the film Fatal Attraction)

bunny slope – skiing: a gentle slope considered suitable for beginners (also used figuratively on rare occasion)

bunny-hugger – slang; derogatory: a conservationist or animal lover

Bunsen burner – eponym: a device used in chemistry, for heating

burgle – burglarize; steal from

burke – eponym: to murder by suffocation (or another way that leaves the body intact) to obtain a body to be sold for dissection; hence, to quietly kill, to suppress or dispose of: to burke a parliamentary question

burnsides – eponym: sideburns

busby – eponym: tall ceremonial hat of some Brit soldiers

bustluscious – having shapely mammalia, usually of substantial size; stacked. A pun on "mudluscious" by e.e. cummings. (The Grandiloquent Dictionary by Russell Rocke [not the website of the same name])

butcher – (etymology) a goat-word, from Old French bouchier = slaughterer of goats, and from bouc = male goat

butterfly effect – the phenomenon that in a complex system, a tiny localized change can have large effects elsewhere

BVDs – eponym: men’s and boys’ underwear (originally, long underwear); a tradename