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Apparently from Old French bousequin, variant of brousequin ( > modern brodequin), probably from Middle Dutch broseken, of unknown origin.



buskin (plural buskins)

  1. (now historical) A half-boot.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.6:
      She, having hong upon a bough on high / Her bow and painted quiver, had unlaste / Her silver buskins from her nimble thigh [...].
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 143:
      With this knife also, he will joynt a Deere, or any beast, shape his shooes, buskins, mantels, etc.
    • 1819, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe:
      Isaac, relieved of one half of his apprehensions, by learning that his daughter lived, and might possibly be ransomed, threw himself at the feet of the generous Outlaw, and, rubbing his beard against his buskins, sought to kiss the hem of his green cassock.
    • 1997, John Julius Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium, Penguin 1998, p. 248:
      Alexius was acclaimed with the imperial titles and formally shod with the purple buskins, embroidered in gold with the double-headed eagles of Byzantium [...].
  2. A type of boot worn by the ancient Athenian tragic actors; tragic drama, tragedy.
  3. An instrument of torture for the foot; bootikin.

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