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buck

analogy metaphor and derivation; verb
To physically or verbally abuse, intimidate, or attack. Usually meant not in realistic terms; not intended seriously; if someone 'bucks' someone else, it is certainly a hostile threat, but violent action is not likely to result.
 
Did you just cheat off my quiz? I'll buck you
Etymology : 'buck' from the Old English 'bucca' meaning "male goat," from Proto Germanic 'bukkon' that may derive from 'bhugo' from Proto Indo European. Also in Old English we see 'buc' meaning 'male deer.' The animal has long been associated with the animal's action of buckig - rearing its head and lifting its front legs off the ground. This meaning is used metaphorically to human actions of rearing one's head in frustration, anger, or tension. Meaning then transfers from representing the angry party to the action he/she will do to the aggressor - to 'buck' is now to 'buck' someone, meaning to attack or intimidate them, not your own internal reaction to their hostility.
Source : Conversation with high school students November 2008.
Last modified: 28 November 2008


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