General English

General Science

  • noun a hard substance of which the parts of the skeleton are formed


  • noun one of the calcified pieces of connective tissue which make up the skeleton, e.g. a leg bone


  • verb to take the bones out of something such as a chicken


  • noun the drug crack. In this sense the usage appeared around 2000.
  • verb to have sex. A vulgarism, originating in American speech, in use in many English-speaking areas. Common from the mid-1980s, it was recorded among black Londoners in 1999. This usage may be a back-formation from boner.

Origin & History of “bone”

Somewhat unusually for a basic body-part term, bone is a strictly Germanic word: it has no relatives in other Indo-European languages. It comes from a presumed Germanic *bainam, which also produced e.g. German bein and Swedish ben. these both mean ‘leg’ as well as ‘bone’, suggesting that the original connotation of *bainam may have been ‘long bone’.