Printable Version
Pronunciation: bêj Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. (Intransitive) To stir, shift slightly, to make the slightest motion. 2. (Transitive) To cause the slightest movement, push very, very slightly.

Notes: This word is a lexical orphan except for the present participle's use as an adjective and noun (budging). This is true despite very similar spellings in other English words, like budget, budgerigar (or budgie), budgerow "a kind of barge", and budgeree, an Australian word borrowed from an Aboriginal language meaning "good, perfect".

In Play: The literal sense of today's word is heard in expressions like this: "Ferdy tried to break in the door with his shoulder, but it wouldn't budge." The metaphorical sense can be used like this: "Orson tried for days to convince his father to buy him a motorcycle, but all reasoning in the world would not get him to budge an inch."

Word History: Today's Good Word started out as French bouger "to stir", from Provençal bolegar "to move". This word evolved from Vulgar (street) Latin bullicare "to boil, bubble", from Classical Lain bullire "to boil", which went on to become Portuguese bulir "to move, stir" and Spanish bullir "come to a boil". Latin bullire came from a suffixed form of PIE bheu-/bhou- "to swell, puff up", source also of English boil, Serbian buljiti "to stare", Irish buail "to bump" and German Beule "lump, bump". With other suffixes, the PIE word went into the making of English bosom, Albanian mbush "to fill", and German Bauch "belly" and Bausch "puff". (Now we owe a thankful note to David Myer, avid Agoran, contributing from Melbourne since 2009, for today's budgeree Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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