On the Stock Exchange, a person who buys shares hoping to sell them at a higher price later is known as a bull; the term is recorded from the early 18th century.
In Egyptian mythology, the god Apis was depicted as a bull, symbolizing fertility and strength in war.
The word dates from late Old English (in form bula, recorded in place names), and comes from Old Norse boli.
bull in a china shop a clumsy person in a situation calling for adroit movement; the phrase is recorded from the mid 19th century.
bull market a market in which share prices are rising, encouraging buying (compare bear market at bear2).
bull-roarer a sacred object of Australian Aboriginal ceremony and ritual, so called because of a fancied resemblance to a child's toy. A bull-roarer consists of a flat oval carved piece of wood, pointed at each end and pierced at one end; a string is threaded through the hole so that the bull-roarer can be swung round, making a booming noise. It is also known as a churinga.
Bull Run a small river in eastern Virginia, scene of two Confederate victories, in 1861 and 1862, during the American Civil War.
like a bull at a gate with the angry vigour of a bull charging a restraining (‘five-barred’) gate; the expression is recorded from the late 19th century.
take the bull by the horns take a firm grasp on a difficult issue; the expression is recorded from the early 18th century.
bull1 / boŏl/ • n. 1. an uncastrated male bovine animal: [as adj.] bull calves. ∎ a large male animal, esp. a whale or elephant. ∎ (the Bull) the zodiacal sign or constellation Taurus.2. Stock Market a person who buys shares hoping to sell them at a higher price later. Often contrasted with bear2 .• v. [tr.] push or drive powerfully or violently: he bulled the motorcycle clear of the tunnel.PHRASES: take the bull by the horns deal bravely and decisively with a difficult, dangerous, or unpleasant situation.bull2 • n. a papal edict.bull3 • n. inf. stupid or untrue talk or writing; nonsense: much of what he says is sheer bull.
- Apis bull of Memphis, created in Osiris’ image. [Egypt. Myth.: Benét, 41]
- Buchis black bull worshiped as chief city god. [Egypt. Rel.: Parrinder, 52]
- Cretan bull sacred to Poseidon; sent to Minos. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 68]
- Ferdinand daydreaming bull who refuses to fight in ring. [Children’s Lit.: The Story of Ferdinand ]
- Minotaur fabulous monster of Crete, half-bull, half-man. [Gk. Myth.: EB, VI: 922]
- Taurus constellation of the zodiac symbolized by the bull. [Astrology: EB, IX: 844]