I might, unnoticed, of course, snatch a bun from its grasp now and then.

He smelled of the apple, and he looked at the bun, but that was all.

I want you up here to help me and Bun Hin's Chinaman to count that money.

I was thinkin' 't was 'most a pity you hadn't had bun sandwiches.

Her eyes looked like raisins in a bun and her mouth had almost disappeared.

I had gone in to get a glass of milk and a bun, and she brought them to me.

The child had a bun in both hands, and had stopped in the middle of a bite to watch her.

Why should everybody roar with laughter when he asked for a bun?

He looked at the candy-bag and the morsel of bun with horror.

Feeling around the bed, he found the other bun and dropped it on the floor.


late 14c., origin obscure, perhaps from Old French buignete "a fritter," originally "boil, swelling," diminutive of buigne "swelling from a blow, bump on the head," from a Germanic source (cf. Middle High German bunge "clod, lump"), or from Gaulish *bunia (cf. Gaelic bonnach). Spanish buñelo "a fritter" apparently is from the same source. Of hair coiled at the back of the head, first attested 1894. To have a bun in the oven "be pregnant" is from 1951.

The first record of buns in the sense of "male buttocks" is from 1960s, perhaps from a perceived similarity; but bun also meant "tail of a hare" (1530s) in Scottish and northern England dialect and was transferred to human beings (and conveniently rhymed with nun in ribald ballads). This may be an entirely different word; OED points to Gaelic bun "stump, root."



Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.