'cow-house, manger' (Modern English boose)


Most commentators are content to explain ME bos as a continuation of an OE *bōs 'cattle-stall' < PGmc *ban(d)sa- (formed on the st. v. *ƀendan-), cp. MLG bōs, OIcel báss, Ger Banse, although only the derivative form bōsig is actually attested in OE. Menner prefers to derive it from ON (though adds 'cp. ONth bōsig'), as does Bj. While the form could be explained by either, the probable existence of an OE *bōs makes native derivation the more likely explanation.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

báss 'a stall in a cow-house'
(ONP báss (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far básur, Icel bás, Norw bås, Dan bås, Sw bås

OE Cognate

*bōs, cp. bōsig 'cattle-stall, crib, manger'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED cites a handful of scattered instances of ME bos, beginning with c1250 Wolle ye i-heren (Trin-C B.14.39); in MnE it is characteristic of N, Midlands, Sc and Ir dial (OED, EDD).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Cl 1075


MED bọ̄s (n.1) , OED boose (n.) , HTOED , EDD boose (sb.1), de Vries báss, Mag. bás, Orel ƀanđsaz, Kroonen *bans(t)a-, DOE bōsig, AEW bōsig