buskin

buskin

[buhs-kin]
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; probably alteration of Middle French bro(u)sequin, of uncertain origin

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World English Dictionary
buskin (ˈbʌskɪn)
 
n
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.  literary chiefly the buskin tragic drama
 
[C16: perhaps from Spanish borzeguí; related to Old French bouzequin, Italian borzacchino, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

buskin
"half boot," c.1500, origin unknown, perhaps from O.Fr. brousequin (14c., Mod.Fr. brodequin, by influence of broder "to embroider") or M.Du. brosekin "small leather boot." Figurative senses relating to tragedy are from the word being used (since mid-16c.) to translate Gk. kothurnus, the high, thick-soled
boot worn in Athenian tragedy; contrasted with sock, the low shoe worn by comedians.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

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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