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Buccaneer

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Buccaneer

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:10 pm

• buccaneer •


Pronunciation: bê-kê-neerHear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A freebooter, a pirate, a filibuster who preyed on Spanish shipping in the West Indies in the 17th and 18th centuries. 2. An adventuresome, irrepressible daredevil with little or no concern for others.

Notes: Little has been done with this word by way of derivation. The behavior of a buccaneer is buccaneerish. The activity is buccaneering, made possible by the use of this noun as a verb: to buccaneer along the coast of Nantucket. Keep track of the double consonants: two Cs, two Es but only one N.

In Play: The buccaneers of today are far less swashbuckling and dashing than even those of yore: "The street gangs today are crews of latter day buccaneers who sail the streets of major cities, launching raids for cars, drugs, money, and other booty." The point is, despite their portrayal in the movies, the original buccaneers were pretty grisly guys themselves, not at all romantic (see picture). In a slightly more positive light we might speak of the buccaneers of Wall Street who busy themselves with leveraged takeovers of ailing ships of commerce (companies).

Word History: The creators of this word never dreamed it would someday refer to the price of corn but, if you like to serve corn when you barbecue, the suggestion is not completely inappropriate. That is because the original meaning of today's Good Word was "barbecuer", the original sense of French boucanier, which English borrowed for today's Good Word. The French noun was derived from the verb boucaner "to cure meat on a barbeque" which French took from a Tupi Indian word boucan "barbecue frame", derived from mukém "rack". The French word (boucanier) first referred to hunters who cured their meat over a boucan. The boucaniers later switched to hunting and barbecuing larger, more profitable game at sea.
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Re: Buccaneer

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:51 pm

I'm not seeing yet how the connection from barbecueing to pirating might have happened.

I did note the use of the word filibuster, in which we see various senators stealing away the opportunity to vote on pressing issue.
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Re: Buccaneer

Postby Slava » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:16 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:I'm not seeing yet how the connection from barbecueing to pirating might have happened.
Re-read the Word History and pay attention to the last sentence. I believe it is explained there.

As to filibuster. it gets operated on here.
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Re: Buccaneer

Postby David McWethy » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:47 am

Under the heading of "a good pun is its own reword", a "buccaneer" seems like a pretty high price for corn.
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Re: Buccaneer

Postby MTC » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:53 am

I had always thought buccaneer derived from Latin "bucca" (cheek) because it took a lot of cheek to be a buccaneer.

And filibuster was perhaps a reshaping of "full 'a bluster," or "phil a bluster."

Guess not.
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Re: Buccaneer

Postby David McWethy » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:15 am

It's odd how the otherwise useless and inane sticks to one, like chewing gum on the sole of a shoe (for sake of clarification, in this missal I'm not referring to elected politicians).

One such piece of grey-matter “brain-sludge" in my case is that during the middle of previous century my favorite aunt could barely stand to be in the same room where either boiled okra or the comedian (?) Buster Keaton were “served”.

One of the few certainties in life—even in that Eisenhower/Rockwellian state of bliss—was that if her constant sotto voce criticism and disgust at those fans of the latter who—in her opinion—were barely bright enough to dress themselves was not sufficient to effect the changing of TV channels, she’d pointedly throw in the towel and leave the "TV room", for it didn’t take long for her to have her fill o' Buster.
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Re: Buccaneer

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:14 pm

I still don't get the transfer from BBQ to piracy, unless he means the buccaneers roasted people like cannibals.

For clarity, David, this does not refer to appointed politicians either.
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