See also: Buck and bück


English Wikipedia has an article on:


  • IPA(key): /bʌk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌk
  • Homophone: book (accents without the foot–⁠strut split)

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English buc, bucke, bukke, from Old English buc, bucc, bucca (he-goat, stag), from Proto-West Germanic *bukk, from Proto-Germanic *bukkaz, *bukkô (buck), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰuǵ- (ram). Doublet of puck. Cognate with German Bock, Norwegian bukk, West Frisian bok (he-goat); also Albanian buzë, Old Armenian բուծ (buc, sucking lamb), Persian بز(boz, goat), Sanskrit बुक्क (bukka).

Sense 8 from American English, an abbreviation of buckskin as a unit of trade among Indians and Europeans in frontier days (attested from 1748).

Senses 10 and 11 from American English, possibly originating from the game poker, where a knife (typically with a hilt made from a stag horn) was used as a place-marker to signify whose turn it was to deal. The place-marker was commonly referred to as a buck hence the term ("pass the buck") used in poker, eventually a Silver dollar was used in place of a knife leading to a dollar to be referred to as a buck.

Senses 15 & 16 are from Dutch bok (sawhorse), a shortened form of zaagbok (sawbuck).


buck (plural bucks)

  1. A male deer, antelope, sheep, goat, rabbit, hare, and sometimes the male of other animals such as the hamster, ferret and shad.
  2. (US) An uncastrated sheep, a ram.
  3. A young buck; an adventurous, impetuous, dashing, or high-spirited young man.
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair:
      Swankey of the Body Guard himself, that dangerous youth, and the greatest buck of all the Indian army now on leave, was one day discovered by Major Dobbin tête-à-tête with Amelia, and describing the sport of pig-sticking to her with great humour and eloquence []
  4. (Britain, obsolete) A fop or dandy.
    • 1808, Alexander Chalmers (editor), The Connoisseur, The British Essayists, Volume 32, page 93,
      This pusillanimous creature thinks himself, and would be thought, a buck.
    • 1825, Constantine Henry Phipps, I Zingari, The English in Italy, Volume II, page 153,
      The Captain was then a buck and dandy, during the reign of those two successive dynasties, of the first rank of the second order ; the characteristic of which very respectable rank of fashionables I hold to be, that their spurs impinge upon the pavement oftener than upon the sides of a horse.
  5. (US, dated, derogatory) A black or Native American man.
    • 1979, Octavia Butler, Kindred:
      She got so she'd rather have a buck nigger than me!
    • 2009, Carol C. Morgan, Wind in the Cotton Fields, page 460:
      Her curly red hair loose from its combs hangin' down her back and her freckled skin bare, and a big ole nigger buck was doin' things to her! He'd always known that Hootch Carter raped and killed Becky Nell, never had reason to doubt it.
  6. (US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, informal) A dollar (one hundred cents).
    Can I borrow five bucks?
    • 1873, John Morris, Wanderings of a Vagabond:
      Won't yer give Jake ten bucks ter buy hisself some close, so he look nice 'mong de gemmens?
  7. (South Africa, informal) A rand (currency unit).
  8. (by extension, Australia, South Africa, US, informal) Money.
    Corporations will do anything to make a buck.
    • 1987, Oliver Stone, Wall Street, spoken by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas):
      It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation.
  9. (US, slang) One hundred.
    The police caught me driving a buck forty [140 miles per hour] on the freeway.
    That skinny guy? C'mon, he can't weigh more than a buck and a quarter [125 pounds].
  10. (dated) An object of various types, placed on a table to indicate turn or status; such as a brass object, placed in rotation on a US Navy wardroom dining table to indicate which officer is to be served first, or an item passed around a poker table indicating the dealer or placed in the pot to remind the winner of some privilege or obligation when his or her turn to deal next comes.
  11. (US, in certain metaphors or phrases) Blame; responsibility; scapegoating; finger-pointing.
  12. (Britain, dialect) The body of a post mill, particularly in East Anglia. See Wikipedia:Windmill machinery.
  13. (finance) One million dollars.
  14. (informal) A euro.
  15. A frame on which firewood is sawed; a sawhorse; a sawbuck.
  16. a leather-covered frame used for gymnastic vaulting
  17. A wood or metal frame used by automotive customizers and restorers to assist in the shaping of sheet metal bodywork. See Street Rodder "Making a Wood Buck".
  18. (African-American Vernacular, dated, dance) Synonym of buck dance
  19. Synonym of mule (type of cocktail with ginger ale etc.)
Derived termsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See alsoEdit


buck (third-person singular simple present bucks, present participle bucking, simple past and past participle bucked)

  1. (intransitive) To copulate, as bucks and does.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle Low German bucken (to bend) or Middle Dutch bucken, bocken (to bend), intensive forms of Old Saxon būgan and Old Dutch *būgan (to bend, bow), both from Proto-West Germanic *beugan, from Proto-Germanic *būganą (to bend), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰūgʰ- (to bend). Influenced in some senses by buck “male goat” (see above).

Compare bow and elbow.


buck (third-person singular simple present bucks, present participle bucking, simple past and past participle bucked)

  1. (intransitive) To bend; buckle.
  2. (intransitive, of a horse or similar saddle or pack animal) To leap upward arching its back, coming down with head low and forelegs stiff, forcefully kicking its hind legs upward, often in an attempt to dislodge or throw a rider or pack.
    • 1849, Jackey Jackey, The Statement of the Aboriginal Native Jackey Jackey, who Accompanied Mr. Kennedy, William Carron, Narrative of an Expedition Undertaken Under the Direction of the Late Mr. Assistant Surveyor E. B. Kennedy, 2004 Gutenberg Australia eBook #0201121,
      At the same time we got speared, the horses got speared too, and jumped and bucked all about, and got into the swamp.
  3. (transitive, of a horse or similar saddle or pack animal) To throw (a rider or pack) by bucking.
    • W. E. Norris
      The brute that he was riding had nearly bucked him out of the saddle.
  4. (transitive, military) To subject to a mode of punishment which consists of tying the wrists together, passing the arms over the bent knees, and putting a stick across the arms and in the angle formed by the knees.
  5. (intransitive, by extension) To resist obstinately; oppose or object strongly.
    The vice president bucked at the board's latest solution.
  6. (intransitive, by extension) To move or operate in a sharp, jerking, or uneven manner.
    The motor bucked and sputtered before dying completely.
  7. (transitive, by extension) To overcome or shed (e.g., an impediment or expectation), in pursuit of a goal; to force a way through despite (an obstacle); to resist or proceed against.
    The plane bucked a strong headwind.
    Our managers have to learn to buck the trend and do the right thing for their employees.
    John is really bucking the odds on that risky business venture. He's doing quite well.
  8. (riveting) To press a reinforcing device (bucking bar) against (the force of a rivet) in order to absorb vibration and increase expansion. See Wikipedia: Rivet:Installation.
  9. (forestry) To saw a felled tree into shorter lengths, as for firewood.
  10. (electronics) To output a voltage that is lower than the input voltage. See Wikipedia: Buck converter
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

See beech.


buck (plural bucks)

  1. (Scotland) The beech tree.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

From Middle English bouken (steep in lye), ultimately related to the root of beech.[1] Cognate with Middle High German büchen, Swedish byka, Danish byge and Low German būken.



  1. Lye or suds in which cloth is soaked in the operation of bleaching, or in which clothes are washed.
    • 1673, Robert Almond, The English Horseman and Complete Farrier, London: Simon Miller, Chapter 25 “Maunginess in the Main,” p. 236,[1]
      [] when you find the scurf to fall off, wash the Neck and other parts with Buck Lye made blood warm.
  2. The cloth or clothes soaked or washed.
Derived termsEdit


buck (third-person singular simple present bucks, present participle bucking, simple past and past participle bucked)

  1. To soak, steep or boil in lye or suds, as part of the bleaching process.
  2. To wash (clothes) in lye or suds, or, in later usage, by beating them on stones in running water.
  3. (mining) To break up or pulverize, as ores.
    • 1991, Joan Day, R. F. Tylecote, The industrial revolution in metals (page 89)
      This [ore mixture] was bucked or cobbed down to a 'peasy' size (i.e. the size of a pea) or less, using a flat-bottomed bucking hammer, and then riddled into coarse peasy and finer (sand-sized) 'smitham' grades.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for buck in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


  1. ^ Runes and Their Secrets: Studies in Runology. (2006). Denmark: Museum Tusculanum Press, p. 216