beaver /BEE-vər/. noun or verb. A large, amphibious rodent. To work industriously and eagerly at something.
busthead (bust-head). noun. Cheap, strong liquor, usually of the illegal variety. Moonshine. Hooch. Poteen. Pop-skull. Bumblings. The origin is obvious to anyone who’s hit the busthead a little hard themselves.
“Appalachian connections to the beverage are both natural and cultural. Clear streams, deep valleys, dry corn, soft water, and industrious farmers come together in the production of whiskey, the almost magical mountain dew or white lightning. Those who know the drink call it corn squeezin’s, skull cracker, thump whiskey, happy Sally, stumper wine, blockade whiskey, tiger’s sweat, rotgut, or busthead.” (Mark F. Sohn)
“Their distillations?” asked Mr. Rand.
The old lady spoke up. “Busthead. Red-eye. Mountain dew. They’re brewing alcohol, Mr. Rand,” she informed him…
“Inside, the air was always thick with the smell of muscatel, smoke, cracklings, draft beer and busthead whiskey, expectorated snuff, pickled hogs’ feet, perfume, body powder, sweat, and home-grown reefer.” (James Lee Burke)
Bycorne (bicorne) /BIY-korn/. noun. A mythical, human-faced cow which fed on patient, kind husbands (and was thus plump)…a counterpart to the chichevache, which fed on obedient, faithful wives and so was perpetually starving. Also, an obsolete spelling of bicorne, a two-pronged pitchfork.
“Now are portrayed two beasts, the one fat and flourishing, the other weak and thin. And the legend says: ‘These fearful beasts, Bycorne and Chichevache, according to their nature, can eat only patient husbands or sweet-tempered wives.'” (John Revell Reinhard)
“Chichevache (or lean cow) was said to live on good women; and a world of sarcasm was conveyed in always representing Chichevache as very poor,—all ribs, in fact—her food being so scarce as to keep her in a wretched state of famine. Bycorne, on the contrary, was a monster who lived on good men; and he was always bursting with fatness, like a prize pig.” (E. Cobham Brewer)
bosky /BAW-skee/. adjective. Abundant with woods, shrubbery or greenery. Verdant. Rarely: tipsy or drunk. Perhaps a variant of busky (same primary meaning), ultimately from Latin boscus (wood).
“Coming down a stony draw through green and well nigh lightless grottoes where lay stones and windfall trees alike anonymous beneath the mantled moss he saw cross through a bosky glen two equine phantoms pale with purpose: one, the next, and gone in the dark of the forest.”
(Cormac McCarthy, from Suttree)
“It was a sight to make one bosky out of hand. Indeed, the warming properties of strong drink give it a more seductive appeal at sea than it ever has ashore”
(William Golding, from To the Ends of the Earth)
“Hail, many-colour’d messenger, that ne’er
Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers,
And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
My bosky acres and my unshrubb’d down,
Rich scarf to my proud earth; why hath thy queen
Summon’d me hither, to this short-grass’d green?”
(William Shakespeare, from The Tempest)
“…The green is a reflective green, a green
in the juicy shadows of leaves—a bosky even green—
a word I will learn to use, and use without self-
consciousness, when at last I go to Germany. I have
holed myself away here, sometimes I am not here
at all, and I feel like the nice clean hole in the leaf
and the magnifying glass above me.
(Patricia Lockwood, from Motherland, fatherland, homelandsexuals)
And when at dawn the wood-nymphs, hand-in-hand,
Threaded the bosky dell, their satyr spied
The boy’s pale body stretched upon the sand,
And feared Poseidon’s treachery, and cried,
And like bright sunbeams flitting through a glade,
Each startled Dryad sought some safe and leafy ambuscade.
(Oscar Wilde, from “Charmides”)
A big white swan full of little children approached my bench, then turned around a bosky islet covered with ducks and paddled back under the dark arch of the bridge. Everything I looked at seemed bright and extremely tiny.
(Sylvia Plath, from The Bell Jar)
There was a river in our wood, a secret, brown, meandering stream that seemed to have got diverted into this bosky glade on the way to somewhere far more important.
(John Banville, from Ancient Light)
Select Synonyms: verdant, wooded, woody, leafed, leaved, frondescent, foliose, frondose, bushy.
blatherskite. /BLA-thər-skiyt/noun. A noisy person who talks foolish nonsense, who blathers with braggadocio. The speech of said blatherer. Originally a Scottish insult, it became a common term of colloquial speech during the American Revolution due to the then-popular Scottish song “Maggie Lauder.” Alt: bletherskate, blether skyte.
“Right dauntingly she answered him,
“Begone ye hallanshaker.
Jog on your gate ye blether skyte,
my name is Maggie Lauder”
“the result was just nothing but wind. She never had any ideas, any more than a fog has. She was a perfect blatherskite; I mean for jaw, jaw, jaw, talk, talk, talk, jabber, jabber, jabber…” (Mark Twain)
“Those foolish tales which I used to read in my youth […] what are they but the blatherskite of long-tongued persons who could talk faster than they could think?” (John Runciman)
“And naught I ken who the bowdykite’s to wed—
Some bletherskite he’s picked up in a ditch,
Some fond fligary flirtigig, clarty-fine,
Who’ll turn a slattern-shrew and a cap-river
Within a week”