bosom buddies…
Posted: 11 February 2018 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]
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When did “bosom” become acceptable to use about men, such as in “bosom buddies”?

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Posted: 11 February 2018 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It became acceptable around a thousand years ago.

The original sense of the word is simply the human chest, applied to both men and women (and metaphorically to such things as the earth and the sea). The OE is bosm.

The OED doesn’t give a sense for the singular use referring specifically to a woman’s breast. The use in the plural (bosoms) to specifically refer to a woman’s breasts is relatively recent. The OED dates it to 1959, but the entry is an old one, so I don’t trust that date.

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Posted: 11 February 2018 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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T

he original sense of the word is simply the human chest, applied to both men and women

As for example ‘Abraham’s bosom‘, which was the word Tyndale used to translate the Greek kolpos, and which was used in the KJV also.

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Posted: 12 February 2018 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes, the question immediately brought to mind the old Negro spiritual “Rock my Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”

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