busker (n.) "itinerant entertainer," 1857, from busk (v.) "to offer goods for sale only in bars and taprooms," 1851 (in Mayhew), perhaps from busk "to cruise as a pirate," which was used in a figurative sense by 1841, in reference to people living shifless and peripatetic lives.
The nautical term is attested from 1660s (in a general sense of "to tack, to beat to windward"), apparently from obsolete Fr. busquer "to shift, filch, prowl," which is related to It. buscare "to filch, prowl," Sp. buscar (from O.Sp. boscar), perhaps originally from bosco "wood" (see BUSH (Cf. bush)), with a hunting notion of "beating a wood" to flush game. Busker has been mistakenly derived from BUSKIN (Cf. buskin) in the stage sense.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • busker — usk er n. a person who entertains people for money in public places (as by singing or dancing). [Chiefly British] [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • busker — /ˈbasker, ingl. ˈbʌskə(r)/ [deriv. del v. to busk «intrattenere con esecuzioni musicali nelle strade»] s. m. e f. inv. artista di strada, cantastorie, saltimbanco …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • busker — UK [ˈbʌskə(r)] / US [ˈbʌskər] noun [countable] Word forms busker : singular busker plural buskers British someone who performs music in the streets and other public places for money …   English dictionary

  • busker — [[t]bʌ̱skə(r)[/t]] buskers N COUNT A busker is a person who sings or plays music for money in streets and other public places. [BRIT] …   English dictionary

  • busker — busk ► VERB 1) play music in the street for voluntary donations. 2) (busk it) informal improvise. DERIVATIVES busker noun. ORIGIN from obsolete French busquer seek …   English terms dictionary

  • busker — noun Etymology: busk, probably from Italian buscare to procure, gain, from Spanish buscar to look for Date: 1857 chiefly British a person who entertains in a public place for donations • busk intransitive verb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • busker — a fisherman who dares all weathers (Cornish dialect) …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • busker — See busk. * * * …   Universalium

  • busker — noun A person who makes money by passing the hat (soliciting donations) while entertaining the public (often by playing a musical instrument) on the streets or in other public area such as a park or market …   Wiktionary

  • busker — bu·sker s.m. e f.inv. ES ingl. {{wmetafile0}} suonatore e cantante girovago, musicista di strada {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1987. ETIMO: der. di (to) busk suonare per strada …   Dizionario italiano

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