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buskin

[buhs-kin] /ˈbʌs kɪn/
noun
1.
a thick-soled, laced boot or half boot.
2.
Also called cothurnus. the high, thick-soled shoe worn by ancient Greek and Roman tragedians.
3.
buskins, stockings decorated with gold thread worn by a bishop at a Pontifical Mass.
4.
tragic drama; tragedy.
Compare sock1 (def 3).
5.
the art of acting, especially tragic acting.
6.
a woman's low-cut shoe with elastic gores at the sides of the instep, popular in the early 20th century.
Origin
1495-1505
1495-1505; probably alteration of Middle French bro(u)sequin, of uncertain origin
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for buskin

buskin

/ˈbʌskɪn/
noun
1.
(formerly) a sandal-like covering for the foot and leg, reaching the calf and usually laced
2.
Also called cothurnus. a thick-soled laced half boot resembling this, worn esp by actors of ancient Greece
3.
(mainly literary) the buskin, tragic drama
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Spanish borzeguí; related to Old French bouzequin, Italian borzacchino, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for buskin
n.

"half boot," c.1500, origin unknown. The word exists in different forms in most of the continental languages, and the exact relationship of them all apparently has yet to be determined. The English word is perhaps immediately from Old French broissequin "buskin; a kind of cloth" (14c., Modern French brodequin by influence of broder "to embroider"), or from Middle Dutch brosekin "small leather boot," which is of uncertain origin. OED suggests a likely candidate in Spanish borcegui, earlier boszegui

Figurative senses in English relating to tragedy are from the word being used (since mid-16c.) to translate Greek kothurnus, the high, thick-soled boot worn in Athenian tragedy; contrasted with sock, the low shoe worn by comedians. Related: Buskined.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for buskin

a thick-soled boot worn by actors in ancient Greek tragedies. Because of the association, the term has come to mean tragedy. It is contrasted with sock, which refers to the foot covering worn by actors in comedies. The word is probably a modification of the Middle French brouzequin, "a kind of foot covering."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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