buss vs kiss

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buss vs kiss

Post by tony h » Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:05 pm

It is one of those times when words heard a thousand times just leap out and say, "there is something here you have missed".

So the definition of Buss is Kiss. A kiss, esp. a loud or vigorous one. However, is there a difference between buss and kiss?

Troilus and Cressida [IV, 5] Ulysses

Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue:
My prophecy is but half his journey yet;
For yonder walls, that pertly front your town,
Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
Must kiss their own feet.
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Re: buss vs kiss

Post by Phil White » Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:06 pm

Kissing and bussing differ both in this,
We busse our wantons, but our wives we kisse.
[Robert Herrick, "Hesperides," 1648]
"Wanton" in this context undoubtedly refers to a whore or mistress.
Perhaps I am cynical, but that could, of course, be read either way ...
Not entirely sure that this has any relevance today - insofar as "buss" is actually used today.
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Re: buss vs kiss

Post by tony h » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:24 am

@Phil White , thank you for that.
My wife, was on the phone to a Shakespearean actress friend of hers, and asked her the question. The reply was, "Kissing, a peck on the cheek, very polite." And "Bussing?", she asked. "Anything from a bit of tongue, to needing to spend a few minutes straightening yourself up before meeting the vicar and his wife." Thinking about it, this last comments doesn't seem to limit bussing to the extra marital, only to the vigorous.

From the OED BUSSE/BUSS 1. A kiss, esp. a loud or vigorous one.

So, I am now interpreting the usage in the original quote
Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
Must kiss their own feet
.
- Buss: to mean the towers weave around and in the clouds in a changing embrace.
- Kiss: a simple peck on the footings, no passion there.

A quick search of literature seems to have a preponderance of "loose" women being bussed.
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Re: buss vs kiss

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:36 pm

tony h wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:24 amSo, I am now interpreting the usage in the original quote
Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
Must kiss their own feet
.
- Buss: to mean the towers weave around and in the clouds in a changing embrace.
- Kiss: a simple peck on the footings, no passion there.
I took this to be an assertion that the towers of Troy, which are currently standing high enough to allow their tops to be in the clouds, will be brought down to meet their foundations.
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Re: buss vs kiss

Post by tony h » Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:13 pm

Erik, of course, you are right. I am not giving my posts the attention to detail they deserve.
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