Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Selections from Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary: “B”

Edited by Dan Leo, LL.D., Professor of 18th Century Lexicography, Assistant Rackets Club Coach, Olney Community College; author of Bozzie and Dr. Sam: The Case of the Parsimonious Parson (the Olney Community College Press).

Illustrated by rhoda penmarq for “penmarq monolithic studios™”. “I have always found ‘penmarq™’ to be the hallmark of excellence.” – Horace P. Sternwall, author of the bestseller The Big Guy Is Listening: Words of Hope for These Troubled Times (the Olney Community College Press). 

for previous selection from Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, click here

to begin at the beginning of Boswell's Life of Johnson, click here

for previous chapter of Boswell's Life of Johnson, click here

Baa. The cry of a sheep.

Baboon. A monkey of the largest kind.

Bachelor. A man unmarried.

Backfriend.  A friend backwards; that is, an enemy in secret.

Bed. Something made to sleep on.

Belles Lettres.  Polite literature.

Belly. That part of the human body which reaches from the breast to the thighs, containing the bowels.

Bibacious. Much addicted to drinking.

Bible. The sacred volume in which are contained the revelations of God.

Bice.  The name of a colour used in painting. It is either green or blue.

Bilingsgate.  [A cant word, borrowed from Bilingsgate in London, a place where there is always a croud of low people, and frequent brawls and foul language.] Ribaldry; foul language.

Black. Of the color of night.

Blush. The colour in the cheeks, raised by shame or confusion.

Blusterer. A swaggerer; a bully; a tumultuous noisy fellow.

Bona Roba. A whore.

Booby. A dull, heavy, stupid fellow; a lubber.

(We will continue our serialization of Boswell’s Life of Johnson next week. This project is made possible in part through the generous support of Bob’s Bowery Bar™, at the corner of Bleecker and the Bowery: “Try our house special pickled pig’s feet with a mug or two of Bob’s Home-brewed Bock!”)


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