See also: Buzzard

English edit

Common buzzard, Buteo buteo, an Old World buzzard
American black vulture, Coragyps atratus

Etymology edit

From Middle English bosart, from Anglo-Norman buisart, from Old French busart, busard, a derivative ( +‎ -ard) of Old French buison, buson (French buse), possibly from Latin būteō (hawk).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈbʌzəɹd/
  • (file)

Noun edit

buzzard (plural buzzards)

  1. Any of several Old World birds of prey of the genus Buteo with broad wings and a broad tail.
  2. (Canada, US) Any scavenging bird, such as the American black vulture (Coragyps atratus) or the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura).
  3. (colloquial, derogatory, slang, often preceded by "old", the "old buzzard") In North America, a curmudgeonly or cantankerous man; an old person; a mean, greedy person.
    • 1995, LaRee Bryant, Forever, My Love, page 88:
      Perhaps the crusty old buzzard loved his only child more than anyone had given him credit for all these years — maybe even more than he himself had realized.
  4. (archaic) A blockhead; a dunce.
    • 1640, George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, etc., in The Remains of that Sweet Singer of the Temple George Herbert, London: Pickering, 1841, p. 142,[1]
      An old man’s shadow is better than a young buzzard’s sword.
    • 1774, Oliver Goldsmith, Animated Nature[2], volume 6, Index:
      It is common, to a proverb, to call one who can not be taught, or who continues obstinately ignorant, a buzzard.
  5. (golf) Synonym of double bogey
  6. (US, military slang, World War I) A fighter plane.
  7. (US, military slang, 20th century) The insignia of a colonel, or a petty officer within the navy.
  8. (US, military slang, 1860s–1920s) A military discharge (due to the military discharge certificate).

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References edit

  • Lighter, Jonathan (1972) “The Slang of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, 1917-1919: An Historical Glossary”, in American Speech[3], volume 47, number 1/2, pages 27–28

Further reading edit