bunting

Bunting ‘bird’ [13] and bunting ‘flags’ [18] are presumably two distinct words, although in neither case do we really know where they come from. There was a now obsolete English adjective bunting, first recorded in the 16th century, which meant ‘plump, rounded, short and thick’ (could a subliminal memory of it have been in Frank Richards’s mind when he named Billy Bunter?). Perhaps the small plump bird, the bunting, was called after this. The adjective probably came from an obsolete verb bunt, which meant (of a sail) ‘swell, billow’, but since we do not know where that came from, it does not get us very much further. As for bunting ‘flags’, the word originally referred to a loosely woven fabric from which they were made, and it has been conjectured that it came from the English dialect verb bunt ‘sift’, such cloth having perhaps once been used for sifting flour.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bunting — can refer to:* Bunting (bird), a group of birds * An infant sleeping bag * The act of laying down a bunt, a type of offensive play in baseball * Bunting (textile), a lightweight cloth material often used for flags and festive decorations * Bye,… …   Wikipedia

  • Bunting — Bun ting, n. [Scot. buntlin, corn buntlin, OE. bunting, buntyle; of unknown origin.] (Zo[ o]l.) A bird of the genus {Emberiza}, or of an allied genus, related to the finches and sparrows (family {Fringillid[ae]}). [1913 Webster] Note: Among… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • BUNTING (B.) — BUNTING BASIL (1900 1990) Né avec le siècle dans le Yorkshire. L’itinéraire de Basil Bunting, inhabituel pour un poète britannique de son âge, le conduira successivement en Italie, aux côtés d’Ezra Pound, aux Canaries, aux États Unis, en Iran,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bünting — steht für: Bünting Gruppe, ein Handelsunternehmen in Leer/ Ostfriesland Bünting ist der Name folgender bekannter Personen: Heinrich Bünting (auch: Buntingus, Bunting, Pendingius, um 1545 1606), evangelischer Theologe und Chronist Karl Dieter… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bunting — ‘bird’ [13] and bunting ‘flags’ [18] are presumably two distinct words, although in neither case do we really know where they come from. There was a now obsolete English adjective bunting, first recorded in the 16th century, which meant ‘plump,… …   Word origins

  • Bunting — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Heath Bunting (* 1966), englischer Medienkünstler Hem Bunting (* 1985), kambodschanischer Mittel und Langstreckenläufer Mary Bunting (1910–1998), US amerikanische Mikrobiologin, Universitätspräsidentin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bunting — Bun ting, Buntine Bun tine, n. [Prov. E. bunting sifting flour, OE. bonten to sift, hence prob. the material used for that purpose.] A thin woolen stuff, used chiefly for flags, colors, and ships signals. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bunting — (Bunt) The real bunting is a plain weave fabric made from worsted yams and dyed in all colours for flags and banners. Also much used for hangings, curtains, etc …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • bunting — Ⅰ. bunting [1] ► NOUN ▪ a seed eating songbird of a large group typically with brown streaked plumage and a boldly marked head. ORIGIN of unknown origin. Ⅱ. bunting [2] ► NOUN ▪ flags and streamers used as festive decorations …   English terms dictionary

  • bunting — bunting1 [bun′tiŋ] n. [< ? ME bonting, ger. of bonten, to sift: hence, cloth used for sifting] 1. a thin cloth used in making flags, streamers, etc. 2. flags, or strips of cloth in the colors of the flag, used as holiday decorations ☆ 3. a… …   English World dictionary

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