- a sawhorse.
- Gymnastics. a cylindrical, leather-covered block mounted in a horizontal position on a single vertical post set in a steel frame, for use chiefly in vaulting.
- any of various heavy frames, racks, or jigs used to support materials or partially assembled items during manufacture, as in airplane assembly plants.
- Also called door buck. a doorframe of wood or metal set in a partition, especially one of light masonry, to support door hinges, hardware, finish work, etc.
verb (used with object)
- to split or saw (logs, felled trees, etc.).
- buck in, Surveying, Optical Tooling. to set up an instrument in line with two marks.
- the male of various animals including the goat, hare, kangaroo, rabbit, and reindeer
- (as modifier)a buck antelope
- Southern African an antelope or deer of either sex
- US informal a young man
- archaic a robust spirited young man
- archaic a dandy; fop
- the act of bucking
- (intr) (of a horse or other animal) to jump vertically, with legs stiff and back arched
- (tr) (of a horse, etc) to throw (its rider) by bucking
- (when intr , often foll by against) informal, mainly US and Canadian to resist or oppose obstinatelyto buck against change; to buck change
- (tr; usually passive) informal to cheer or encourageI was very bucked at passing the exam
- US and Canadian informal (esp of a car) to move forward jerkily; jolt
- US and Canadian to charge against (something) with the head down; butt
- US, Canadian and Australian informal a dollar
- Southern African informal a rand
- a fast buck easily gained money
- bang for one’s buck See bang 1 (def. 15)
- gymnastics a type of vaulting horse
- US and Canadian a stand for timber during sawingAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): sawhorse
- (tr) US and Canadian to cut (a felled or fallen tree) into lengths
- poker a marker in the jackpot to remind the winner of some obligation when his turn comes to deal
- pass the buck informal to shift blame or responsibility onto another
- the buck stops here informal the ultimate responsibility lies here
- Pearl S (ydenstricker). 1892–1973, US novelist, noted particularly for her novel of Chinese life The Good Earth (1931): Nobel prize for literature 1938
“male deer,” c.1300, earlier “male goat;” from Old English bucca “male goat,” from Proto-Germanic *bukkon (cf. Old Saxon buck, Middle Dutch boc, Dutch bok, Old High German boc, German Bock, Old Norse bokkr), perhaps from a PIE root *bhugo (cf. Avestan buza “buck, goat,” Armenian buc “lamb”), but some speculate that it is from a lost pre-Germanic language. Barnhart says Old English buc “male deer,” listed in some sources, is a “ghost word or scribal error.”
Meaning “dollar” is 1856, American English, perhaps an abbreviation of buckskin, a unit of trade among Indians and Europeans in frontier days, attested in this sense from 1748. Pass the buck is first recorded in the literal sense 1865, American English:
The ‘buck’ is any inanimate object, usually knife or pencil, which is thrown into a jack pot and temporarily taken by the winner of the pot. Whenever the deal reaches the holder of the ‘buck’, a new jack pot must be made. [J.W. Keller, “Draw Poker,” 1887]
Perhaps originally especially a buck-handled knife. The figurative sense of “shift responsibility” is first recorded 1912. Buck private is recorded by 1870s, of uncertain signification.
1848, apparently with a sense of “jump like a buck,” from buck (n.1). Related: Bucked; bucking. Buck up “cheer up” is from 1844.
“sawhorse,” 1817, American English, apparently from Dutch bok “trestle.”
In addition to the idioms beginning with buck
- buck for
- buckle down
- buckle under
- buckle up
- buck stops here, the
- buck up
- big bucks
- fast buck
- more bang for the buck
- pass the buck