GC: n

S: http://www.thewayofthepirates.com/types-of-pirates/buccaneers/ (last access: 3 September 2014); http://www.marinersmuseum.org/blogs/library/?p=1054 (last access: 3 September 2014).

N: 1. 1660s, from French boucanier “user of a boucan,” a native grill for roasting meat, from Tupi mukem (rendered in Portuguese as moquem c.1587): “initial b and m are interchangeable in the Tupi language” (Klein). For Haitian variant barbacoa, see barbecue. Originally used of French settlers working as hunters and woodsmen in the Spanish West Indies, a lawless and piratical set after they were driven from their trade by Spanish authorities in the 1690s.
2. English, French, or Dutch sea adventurer, who haunted chiefly the Caribbean and the Pacific seaboard of South America, preying on Spanish settlements and shipping during the second half of the 17th century. In their own day buccaneers were usually called privateers; the word buccaneer came into use after the publication, in 1684, of Bucaniers (sic) of America, the English translation of De Americaensche zee-rovers, by the Dutchman Alexander Esquemelin (or Exquemelin), whose work was a fecund source of tales of these men.
3. The term buccaneer comes from the French boucan, a grill for the smoking of viande boucanée, or dried meat, for use in ships at sea. The French called their adventurers flibustiers (from the Dutch vrijbuiter, “freebooter”), and the Dutch called theirs zeerovers (“sea rovers”); the Spaniards called them corsarios (“corsairs”). The earliest buccaneers were hunters in western Hispaniola (Haiti) in the early 17th century.
4. Known among themselves by the romantic title of “brethren of the coast”, the buccaneers styled themselves privateers, but since they seldom carried valid commissions, they differed from pirates only by virtue of the fact that they did not prey on ships of their own nation. The world itself is derived from the French “boucan” or grill, for cooking dried meat. It came into use after the publication of Esquemeling’s classic “Bucaniers of America” in 1684, translated in 1684. Buccaneers were called by the Dutch “zee-rovers”, by the Spanish “corsarios”, and by the French “flibustiers”. They were inspired by the tradition of the Elizabethan privateers and became prominent for their marauding activities in the Caribbean after the capture of Jamaica in 1655, and later in the Pacific. Early bands were composed of adventurers of all sorts, whom Sir Henry Morgan welded into an efficient force to capture Panama in 1671. They were excellent seamen and included several remarkable characters. Many of them made remarkable voyages around the world.

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=buccaneer&searchmode=none (last access: 3 September 2014). 2 & 3. EncBrit. 4. GDT.


CR: freebooter, cracker, hijacker, letter of marque, piracy, piracy (2), pirate, privateer.