Word Confusion: Bus versus Buss

Posted November 16, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I gotta admit, I’m prejudiced. And rather embarrassed about how wrong I am. I’m so accustomed to seeing a buss as a kiss, that I simply can’t reconcile myself to busses being multiple city or school buses. It just ain’t right.

And, I’m wrong. Technically.

It’s just that mental image I get every time I see a sign posted on the freeway, pointing to a pull-out lot for busses. I keep thinking that I can either get a kiss for a buck, or there are buses necking in there! Ooh, baby!

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

If you found this post on “Bus versus Buss” interesting, consider tweeting it to your friends. Subscribe to KD Did It, if you’d like to track this post for future updates.

Return to top

Bus Buss
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com
Part of Grammar:
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: buses 1, busses
Past tense or past participle: bused 1, bussed
Gerund or present participle: busing 1, bussing

1 Intelligently, Canada prefers the single “s”.

Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: busses
Past tense or past participle: bussed
Gerund or present participle: bussing

Large motor vehicle carrying passengers by road

[Computers] Distinct set of conductors carrying data and control signals within a computer system, to which pieces of equipment may be connected in parallel

A car or vehicle that is old and/or unreliable

Verb, intransitive:
To travel on or by means of a bus

Verb, transitive:
Travel or move by bus

To transport pupils to school by bus, especially as a means of achieving socioeconomic or racial diversity among students in a public school

Remove dirty dishes and cutlery from a table in a cafeteria or restaurant

[Archaic, informal] Kiss

Verb, intransitive:
[Archaic, dialect] Kiss

Verb, transitive:
[Archaic, dialect] Kiss

[Archaic] To talk about

  • Gossip over
I’ll just take the bus.

It’s connected using a serial bus.

Does this town even have bus service?

What? This old bus??

Verb, intransitive:
We bused to New York on a theater trip.

Verb, transitive:
We’ll bus the hostages to a hotel.

Busing pupils to school was the only way they could see to achieve socioeconomic or racial diversity among students in a public school.

We’ll have to bus those tables to get ready for the next diners.

Oh, go on and give the lass a buss.

Verb, intransitive:
They bussed.

Verb, transitive:
He bussed her.

Quit bussin’ about my dress.

“Come, grin on me, and I will thinke thou smil’st,/And busse thee as thy wife…” – Shakespeare, King John

Noun: busbar, busboy, busload, busman, busser
History of the Word:
Early 19th century

Shortened form of omnibus

Late 16th century and an alteration of the late Middle English bass, probably from the French baiser, which evolved from the Latin basiare.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

Return to top

Pinterest Photo Credits:

“Kiss on the Bus” was created by Tandem Company GUASCH DDB, Spain, the advertising agency for Smint. The image was part of a post, “30 Clever and Creative Bus Ads“, for deMilked.

2 responses to “Word Confusion: Bus versus Buss

    • I agree! It’s so wonderfully complex with such subtle possibilities! And then there’s the history of its evolution…sigh… Too much fun!