k. d. burke

Burke

[burk]
noun
1.
Billie (Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke) 1886–1970, U.S. actress.
2.
Edmund, 1729–97, Irish statesman, orator, and writer.
3.
Kenneth Duva [doo-vey] , 1897–1993, U.S. literary critic.
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World English Dictionary
burke (bɜːk)
 
vb
1.  to murder in such a way as to leave no marks on the body, usually by suffocation
2.  to get rid of, silence, or suppress
 
[C19: named after William Burke, executed in Edinburgh for a murder of this type]

Burke (bɜːk)
 
n
1.  Edmund. 1729--97, British Whig statesman, conservative political theorist, and orator, born in Ireland: defended parliamentary government and campaigned for a more liberal treatment of the American colonies; denounced the French Revolution
2.  Robert O'Hara. 1820--61, Irish explorer, who led the first expedition (1860--61) across Australia from south to north. He was accompanied by W. J. Wills, George Grey, and John King; King alone survived the return journey
3.  William. 1792--1829, Irish murderer and body snatcher; associate of William Hare

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

Burke
family name (first recorded 1066), from Anglo-Norman pronunciation of O.E. burgh. Not common in England itself, but it took root in Ireland, where William de Burgo went in 1171 with Henry II and later became Earl of Ulster. As shorthand for a royalty reference book, it represents "A General and Heraldic
Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom," first issued 1826, compiled by John Burke (1787-1848). As a verb meaning "murder by smothering," it is abstracted from William Burk, executed in Edinburgh 1829 for murdering several persons to sell their bodies for dissection.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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