AskDefine | Define busk

User Contributed Dictionary




Etymology 1

From etyl fr busc, of uncertain origin.


  1. A thin, elastic strip of metal, whalebone, wood, or other material, worn in the front of a corset.

Etymology 2

Origin unknown.


  1. A kind of linen.
    • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 557:
      Busk, a kind of table linen, occurs first in 1458, and occasionally afterwards.

Etymology 3

Apparently from etyl fr busquer.


  1. To tack, to cruise about.
  2. intransitive UK To solicit money by entertaining the public in the street or in public transport
Related terms

Old High German


Common Germanic *busk-



Extensive Definition

A busk (also spelled busque) is the rigid element of a corset placed at the centre front.
In stays, the corsets worn between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, the busk was intended to keep the front of the corset straight and upright. It was made of wood, ivory, or bone slipped into a pocket and tied in place with a lace called the busk point. These busks were often carved and decorated, or inscribed with messages, and were popular gifts from men to their sweethearts.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, a new form of busk appeared. It was made of two long pieces of steel, one with loops and the other with posts, that functioned in the same way as hook and eye fastenings on a garment This made corsets considerably easier to put on and take off, as the laces did not have to be loosened as much as when the corset had to go over the wearer's head and shoulders. The second half of the nineteenth century also saw the invention of the spoon busk.

External links

busk in French: Busc
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