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Etymology 1[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions. You can also discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.



bonce (plural bonces)

  1. (British slang) the human head
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury, 2005, Chapter 9,
      To see Nina herself Nick had to crane round the big white bonce of Norman Kent, who was as sensitive to music as he was to conservatives, and kept shifting in his seat.
    • 2010, Skins, Season 4 Episode 8, "Everyone".
      Cook: I don't think you know what I am, mate. ... I'm a fucking waste of space. I'm just a stupid kid. I got no sense. A criminal. I'm no fucking use, me. I am nothing. So, please... please... get it into, you know, into your bonce... that you killed my friend. And... I'm Cook. I'M COOK!

Etymology 2[edit]


bonce (countable and uncountable, plural bonces)

  1. (uncountable, dated) A boys' game played with large marbles.
    • 1853, William Martin, The Book of Sports, for Boys and Girls, Part I “Games with Marbles”, page 13:
      Bonce-Eye is played by each player putting down a marble within a small ring, and dropping from the eye another marble upon them so as to drive them out, those driven out being the property of the Boncer.
  2. (countable, dated) The kind of marble used in this game.
    • 1863, The Boy's Handy Book of Sports, Pastimes, Games and Amusements, Part I, page 22:
      BONCE ABOUT is played with a big kind of marbles, called “bonces.” … The first player puts down his bonce, []

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for bonce in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)