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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English bune (hollow stalk or stem, drinking straw), from Old English bune (cup, beaker, drinking vessel; reed, cane), of unknown origin. Related to English bun, boon (the stalk of flax or hemp less the fibre), Scots bune, boon, been, see bun, boon. Compare also bunweed.


bunny (plural bunnies)

  1. (Britain dialectal) A culvert or short covered drain connecting two ditches.
  2. (Britain dialectal) A chine or gully formed by water running over the edge of a cliff; a wooded glen or small ravine opening through the cliff line to the sea.
    • 1983, Geoffrey Morley, Smuggling in Hampshire and Dorset, 1700-1850 (page 72)
      Friar's Cliff and Highcliffe have always been what the second name suggests: cliffs too high to scale easily and with no convenient bunnies, chines or combes.
  3. (Britain dialectal) Any small drain or culvert.
  4. (Britain dialectal) A brick arch or wooden bridge, covered with earth across a drawn or carriage in a water-meadow, just wide enough to allow a hay-wagon to pass over.
  5. (Britain dialectal) A small pool of water.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English bony, boni (swelling, tumor), from Old French bugne, buigne (swelling, lump), from Old Frankish *bungjo (swelling, bump), from Proto-Germanic *bungô, *bunkô (lump, clump, heap, crowd). More at bunion, bunch.

Alternative formsEdit


bunny (plural bunnies)

  1. (Britain dialectal) A swelling from a blow; a bump.
  2. (mining) A sudden enlargement or mass of ore, as opposed to a vein or lode.

Etymology 3Edit

From bun (rabbit) +‎ -y, though its ultimate origin is unknown. Together with rabbit, has largely displaced its rhyme coney.


bunny (plural bunnies)

  1. A rabbit, especially a juvenile.
  2. A bunny girl: a nightclub waitress who wears a costume having rabbit ears and tail.
  3. (sports) In basketball, an easy shot (i.e., one right next to the bucket) that is missed.
  4. (South Africa) Bunny chow; a snack of bread filled with curry.
    • 2008, Steve Pike, Surfing South Africa, page 258:
      Surfers from Durban grew up on bunnies. You get the curry in the bread with the removed square chunk, used to dunk back in the curry.
Derived termsEdit


bunny (comparative bunnier, superlative bunniest)

  1. (skiing) Easy or unchallenging.
    Let’s start on the bunny slope.
    • 2014, Carey Heywood, Sawyer Says: A Companion Novel to Him and Her, →ISBN:
      We are on the bunniest of bunny hills. I've fallen no fewer than six times and I love every minute of it.

Etymology 4Edit

From bun (small bread roll) +‎ -y.


bunny (comparative more bunny or bunnier, superlative most bunny or bunniest)

  1. (rare, humorous) Resembling a bun (small bread roll). [since the 1960s, but always rare]
    • 2012, Sue Simkins, Cooking With Mrs Simkins, →ISBN:
      If you would like to make some buns with more of a Chelsea bunlike texture follow the recipe above, but increase the flour to 300g (11oz). This will make them less rich and more 'bunny'.
    • 2014, Bruce Montague, Wedding Bells and Chimney Sweeps, →ISBN:
      Before the interregnum, the cakes made for weddings had been pathetic offerings, consisting mainly of piles of biscuits and scones. When you read the list of ingredients -- sugar, eggs, milk, flour, currents, and spices -- these must have looked and tasted a lot like hot cross buns, but without being hot, without the cross, and without being particularly bunny.