|Photo by W.Tipton|
Verb. Mid-17th century.
[French busquer (obsolete) seek, hunt for, from Italian buscare or Spanish buscar, from Germanic.]
1 verb intrans. NAUTICAL. Cruise about, tack. Now rare or obsolete. M17
2 verb intrans. Look for, seek after. rare. M18
3 verb intrans. Play music, or otherwise entertain, for money in public places.
Formerly also, peddle goods. Chiefly as busking verbal noun. M19
4 verb trans. & intrans. Improvise. slang. M20
Also: busker noun an itinerant musician or actor, especially one performing on the street. M19
To busk, busking, and busker were always going to capture my attention, having done a little busking myself in the past and also being a Spanish speaker: to busk shares a root with buscar, a Spanish verb still in common use that means to "to search, to look for." The idea that a busker is searching for something - whether it be recognition, money, fellow artists, a means of self-expression, or just one or two people to stop and take some pleasure in the fruits of his artistic labours - is as fitting an etymology as a word could ever have.
|Photo by Alfonso Tochis|
|In truth, probably the most entertaining "living statue" I've ever seen|
(photo by Anneli Salo)
Are you a busker?
Do enjoy buskers?
Do please publicly entertain us with your comments below.