The Wild Sanas (etymology) of Buccaneer

Daniel Cassidy DanCas1 at AOL.COM
Sun Dec 12 19:25:10 UTC 2004

The hundreds if thousands of exiled Irish soldiers, sailors,  mercenaries, 
and rebels of the 17th and 18th century Atlantic  world called themselves the 
"Wild Geese" and  "Playboys of the  Western world." 
Boc aniar   (sounds like  buccaneer)
Playboy from the West. Fig. A playboy of the western  world.
Boc, a buck, a playboy, a rake, a wild young man.
Aniar,  from the west.  
One of the great early 20th century classics of the theater is  “The Playboy 
of the Western World,” by the Irish playwright, John  Millington Synge, who 
lived among the Irish speakers of the west of Ireland,  where he learned the 
Irish language. 
The current etymology of the Irish word phrase boc  aniar spelled "buccaneer" 
in English is a "lulu"  (liú luath, a "wild howl," a  "scream") ludicrously 
echoed in every English  dictionary of the western world.  This world-class  
"wingnut" word history, involving "perhaps Tupi," a native American  language of 
the Caribbean, as well as French, Spanish, Portuguese, and  English has to be 
read not to be believed.  Occam's Gaelic Razor has clipped its wings. 
“Buccanner, n. 1661, a French settler employed as a hunter of wild oxen on  
the Spanish Coast of America, borrowed from the French boucanier one  who dries 
and smokes meats on a boucan, a barbecue, after the manner of  the Indians 
(sic), from an Indian (sic) word of the Caribbean area, (perhaps  Tupi, mocaem, 
transcribed as mukem in a Portuguese travel  account, 1587); for suffix see 
-eer. By 1690 the word was applied to  French and then to British piratical 
rovers who were driven from their business  of hunting wild oxen by the Spanish 
authorities and turned to plundering goods.  In the 1800s it was extended to any 
pirate or sea rover”. (Barnhart, p.  122).
A Boc aniar is a "playboy of the  western world."   
Related Irish and Scots-Gaelic compounds with Boc. 
Boc áigh   (pron buck aahoo)
A brave valiant buck. A dashing young playboy.
Boc: a he-goat, a buck, a wag, a playboy.

Ágh, áigh or ágha, (pron. aah-oo,  final  aspirated “gh”  = “oo” or “ow”) 
m., valor, success,  triumph, good-luck.   Scéal áigh, a great story. Craobh 
an áigh, palm  of the joust, a fair lady. (Dineen, p. 10).  
This term "Bucko" is often used as a “put-down” in both Irish  and 
Irish-American dialect.  Here Matt Burke, an Irish born  sailor in Eugene O'Neill's 
play, Anna Christy, uses it  deprecatingly. 
BURKE: “Is it giving me orders ye are, bucko? Let you look  out, then!”
(Anna Christy, p. 39).
A perverse buck is a boc saobh (pron. boc seeh)

Boc saobh (pron boc seeh, "bh" aspirated to "h" or  "w" ). 
A crooked, perverse, twisted buck or playboy. 
Chicago's Bugsy Moran of St. Valentine's fame was a true  boc saobh. The NY 
Boc saobh ("Bugsy") Siegel hated  the moniker all of his life.  
Bocaí rua
Wild, fierce playboys.   Wild young rakes.
Rua, adj., wild, fierce, rough, strong. (O'Donaill, p.  1012)
There was a wild Irish American gang in the old Fourth and  Seventh wards of 
NYC that called themselves Buckaroos in the mid  nineteenth century. (See 
Asbury, Gangs of NY). Billy the Kid was a  buckaroo that turned into a boc saobh 
(a perverse playboy or buck). Biloly  the Kid was born "McCarty or McCarthy" in 
the 7th or 10th  wards near the East River of NY, ca. 1859. 
Daniel Cassidy
The Irish Studies Program
New College of California
San Francisco

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