rebus

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See also: Rebus, rébus, and rebus'

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

PIE word
*reh₁ís
A rebus (sense 1) for the phrase “I understand”, represented by a picture of an eye under the word stand.
The coat of arms of Princess Beatrice, the daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York. It bears a label with three bees, that is, “bees thrice”, a rebus (sense 2) alluding to her name.

From French rébus (rebus (puzzle); ambiguity; word used in an oblique sense; unintelligible remark), or directly from its probable etymon Latin rēbus, the ablative plural of rēs (object, stuff, thing; issue, matter, subject, topic), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *reh₁ís (goods; wealth). The connection between the English word and its Latin etymon is unclear; the following possibilities have been suggested, but according to the Oxford English Dictionary are problematic:[1]

  • According to the French scholar Gilles Ménage (1613–1692) in Les origines de la langue françoise (The Origins of the French Language, 1650),[2] it is taken from the phrase de rebus quae geruntur (“concerning the things that are taking place”) which was used in 16th-century Picardy as the name for satirical writings on contemporary subjects containing picture-riddles that were composed for an annual carnival. However, the term rebus de Picardie is first attested later than the word rébus, and so could simply refer to rebuses popular in Picardy at the time.
  • Alternatively, it could be from the phrase nōn verbīs sed rēbus meaning “not by words but by things”, but this “encounters difficulties in the chronology of the senses in French”.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

rebus (plural rebuses or rebusses or (hypercorrect) rebi)

  1. An arrangement of pictures, symbols, and/or words representing phrases or words, especially as a word puzzle.
    Synonyms: rebus puzzle, dingbat
  2. (specifically, heraldry) An arrangement of pictures on a coat of arms which suggests the name of the person to whom it belongs.
    • 2020 March 5, Hilary Mantel, “Salvage: London, Summer 1536”, in The Mirror & the Light, London: 4th Estate, →ISBN, page 122:
      The prior [Will Bolton] used to come out here to hunt in summer and recreate himself, and his rebus—a barrel or tun shot through with a crossbow bolt—is set into the garden walls.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

rebus (third-person singular simple present rebuses or rebusses, present participle rebusing or rebussing, simple past and past participle rebused or rebussed) (transitive, obsolete, rare)

  1. To represent (a phrase or word) as a rebus.
  2. To apply a rebus to (something).
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, “Section IV. To John Ferrars, of Tamworth Castle, Esquire.”, in James Nichols, editor, The Church History of Britain, [], volume I, new edition, London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, OCLC 913056315, book IV, subsection 34 (The Death of Archbishop Morton. A.D. 1500.), page 539:
      He [John Morton] was a learned man, and had a fair library, (rebussed with more in text and tun under it,) partly remaining in the possession of the late earl of Arundel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ rebus, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, July 2020; “rebus, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ Gilles Ménage (1650) Les origines de la langue françoise [The Origins of the French Language], Paris: Chez Augustin Courbé, OCLC 723687311.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Crimean Tatar[edit]

Etymology[edit]

French rébus, from Latin rebus.

Noun[edit]

rebus

  1. rebus.

Declension[edit]

References[edit]

  • Mirjejev, V. A.; Usejinov, S. M. (2002) Ukrajinsʹko-krymsʹkotatarsʹkyj slovnyk [Ukrainian – Crimean Tatar Dictionary]‎[1], Simferopol: Dolya, →ISBN

Danish[edit]

Noun[edit]

rebus c (singular definite rebussen, plural indefinite rebusser)

  1. rebus (puzzle)

Declension[edit]


Estonian[edit]

Noun[edit]

rebus

  1. inessive singular of rebu

French[edit]

Verb[edit]

rebus

  1. first-person singular past historic of reboire
  2. second-person singular past historic of reboire

Participle[edit]

rebus

  1. masculine plural of the past participle of reboire

Anagrams[edit]


Indonesian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Pronunciation[edit]

Phonetik.svg This entry needs pronunciation information. If you are familiar with the IPA then please add some!

Adjective[edit]

rebus

  1. boiled

Italian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

rebus m (invariable)

  1. rebus
  2. enigma
  3. puzzle
  4. conundrum

Related terms[edit]


Latin[edit]

Noun[edit]

rēbus

  1. dative plural of rēs
  2. ablative plural of rēs

References[edit]


Malay[edit]

Adjective[edit]

rebus (Jawi spelling ربوس‎)

  1. boiled (food)

Verb[edit]

rebus

  1. to boil (food)

Further reading[edit]


Polish[edit]

Polish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia pl

Etymology[edit]

From French rébus, from Latin rebus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

rebus m inan

  1. rebus

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • rebus in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French rébus.

Noun[edit]

rebus n (plural rebusuri)

  1. rebus, crossword

Declension[edit]


Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /rěːbus/
  • Hyphenation: re‧bus

Noun[edit]

rébus m (Cyrillic spelling ре́бус)

  1. rebus

Declension[edit]


Swedish[edit]

Noun[edit]

rebus c

  1. a rebus; a kind of word puzzle

Declension[edit]

Declension of rebus 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative rebus rebusen rebusar rebusarna
Genitive rebus rebusens rebusars rebusarnas

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]