Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bun n.3

also bun hat

(N.Z.) a bowler hat.

Inangahu Times (N.Z.) 12 Jan. 2/7: A tall erect figure, with a bun hat and a cotton umbrella under his left arm, marched majestuically up the room.
[NZ]Hist. of North Otago (1978) 131: In the 90’s the younger generation discarded their beards... The flat-topped hat gave place to the ‘bun’ or ‘hard-hitter’ [DNZE].
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 10 May 9/6: You can pick Flew out of thousands by his bright and breezy appearance, [...] his bun hat and well-known cigar.
[NZ]Eve. Post (Wellington) 17 Feb. 13/2: He remembered the author [...] Mr Fergus Hunme, whom he described as ‘a dandy little man with a high bun hat’.
[Aus]Le Courrier Australien (Sydney) 5 June 7/1: You call a bowler hat a darby or hardboiled hat: we line it up as a boxer, bocker, hardhitter, eggboiler, plug hat, peadodger, bun or hap harry.
[NZ]N.Z. Woman’s Weekly 17 Apr. 17: His hat, an old ‘bun’, went bowling up the street [DNZE].
O. Duff Shepherd’s Calendar (1961) 247: ‘What do you think of the bun hats?’ Ng. asked, as the saddle horses were passing.
[NZ]N. Hilliard Maori Girl 193: The old boy with his head tilted forward all the time [...] bun hat in his dook – that’s Sir Walter Peach.
[Aus]G.W. Turner Eng. Lang. in Aus. and N.Z. 107: Now dated [...] numerous names for a bowler hat [...] bun hat, hard hitter, hard knocker.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 23/1: bun hat bowler hat.
[NZ]D. Latham Golden Reefs 418: ‘Jock’ Robertson is remembered by many Greymouth people as a small man [...] dressed with a ‘bun’ or bowler hat [DNZE].
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

In phrases

do one’s bun (v.)

(orig. N.Z. milit.) to lose emotional control.

[NZ]Expressions and Sayings 2NZEF (Nat. Archiv. TS WAIL DA 420/1) Do the Scone (or bun) Lose the temper-panic [DNZE].
[NZ]‘The Sarge’ Excuse My Feet 128: ‘O.K.! O.K.! don’t do your bun,’ he answered [DNZE].
[NZ]B.J. Cameron Collection (TS July) n.p.: do one’s block do one’s bun do one’s lolly (v) To get excited, lose one’s head [DNZE].
[NZ]B. Crump A Good Keen Man 76: Jock did his bun properly. ‘So my money’s not good enough, eh mate?’ he snarled at the driver.
[NZ]B. Crump ‘Here And There’ in Best of Barry Crump (1974) 171: I don’t suppose we can blame him for doing his bun.
[NZ]L. Leland Kiwi-Yankee Dict. 32: Do your bun or do your scone: is to blow your fuse. This is a temper tantrum but is less general and more directional than to throw a wobbly. One does one’s bun at someone.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 23/1: bun phr. do your bun lose your temper; eg ‘Hey, no need to do your bun, Milt. You’ll get your money.’.
[NZ]Eve. Post (Wellington) 9 July 13: A Wellington fisherman...has said he ‘did his bun’ when he found out the fish receivers had rejected some of his catch [DNZE].
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

SE in slang uses

In compounds

bun-duster (n.) [SE bun + duster, he ‘dusts off’, i.e. finishes, the buns]

(US) an effete young man who attends smart tea parties and charms old ladies.

[US]Appleton Post-Crescent (WI) 29 Apr. 7/2: Flapper Dictionary bun duster – A Piker who frequents teas and other entertainments, without ever trying to repay his social obligations.
[US]Des Moines Register (IA) 6 Mar. 14/4: A student or pofessor who spends a lot of time going to faculty teas is a ‘bun-duster’.
Merrian-Webster Dict. [Internet] Other words used to describe the same less-than-he-man included angel child, ballroom golfer, bun-duster, crumb-gobbler, crumb-snatcher, crumpet-muncher [...].
bunfight (n.)

a tea party, esp. with image of children struggling for sticky buns; any party.

[UK]Cornish Teleg. 8 Mar. 3/6: An evening party is facetiously a ‘bun-fight’.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 8 Mar. 5/3: The whole town has been out to a bun fight or ginger-beer scramble.
St James’s Gaz. (London) 20 Apr. 4/1: Even a bun-fight is hard to organize among people who squabble so much.
[UK]London Dly News 12 Sept. 7/4: ‘There’s nuthin we love more’n a teetotal bun-fight, and seein’ the dear little kiddies a guzzlin’.
[UK]Motherwell Times 5 Jan. 2/4: Winners [...] to have [...] a medal which is to be handed over at a representative bun-fight.
[UK]Ednburgh Eve. News 30 Apr. 4/5: ‘Varsity Bun-Fights’ [...] The students [...] council has decided to hold an afternoon ‘tea-fight’.
R. Campbell Wayzgoose 7: This phenomenon [the wayzgoose] occurs annually in S.A. It combines the functions of a bun-fight, an Eisteddfod and an Olympic contest .
[Aus]T. Wood Cobbers 10: Then they’ll amount to politenesses and bun-fights – we’re a hospitable race.
[UK]Coventry Eve. Teleg. 16 Apr. 5/2: ‘I have other things to do beside wasting my time coming to bun fights.’ [...] ‘You must not refer to the ceremony as a bun-fight’.
[UK]H.E. Bates Darling Buds of May (1985) 108: They tell me you practically organized this whole bun-fight singlehanded.
[UK]Stage (London) 16 Mar. 24/4: The hilarious ‘bun-fight’ finale.
[UK]N. Armfelt Catching Up 106: I’ll leave you two to clear up this bun fight.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 163: O’Driscoll visited me on his way to an ecclesiastical bun-fight in Maynooth.
[UK]Barr & York Sloane Ranger Hbk 158: bun-fight n. Crowded party where you have to fight to get something to eat.
[UK]Stage (London) 18 Aug. 2/4: The theatre had a special cake made [...] and invited all the staff to the bun-fight.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Culture 26 Sept. 10: A man who spent his time stuffing himself at endless roast beef dinners and literary bunfights.
[UK]Guardian Guide 25–31 Mar. 6: Their coverage of the latest corporate bunfight or ruckus over property boundaries.
bun-house (n.) [the distribution of free buns]

(UK Und.) public relief.

[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 211: She has had recourse to the ‘bun-house’ (public relief).
bun-joint (n.) [joint n. (3)]

(US) a coffeehouse.

E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden and Other Stories 244: I took my potential scoop to a coffee-house – a ‘bun-joint’ in his slang.
bun-puncher (n.) (also bun-strangler)

a teetotaller; thus bun-punching adj., teetotal.

[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 424: Bun-Strangler. Teetotaller.
[UK](con. WWI) F. Richards Old Soldiers Never Die (1964) 119: If a teetotaller he was known as a ‘char wallah’, ‘bun-puncher’ or ‘wad-shifter.’ [Ibid.] 207: A bloody bun-punching swine.
bunrunner (n.)

(N.Z.) a person who delivers lunch and snacks around offices.

[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 38: bunrunner Lunch and snack deliverer around offices. 1990s.
bun-struggle (n.) (also bun-rush, bun and sandwich scuffle, muffin-struggle, tea-scramble) [var. on bun-worry ; note WWI milit. bun-strangler, bun wallah, a teetotaller]

a tea party.

[UK]Western Dly Press 26 Jan. 3/2: [...] what the vulgar have chosen to designate as as ‘tea fight and muffin struggle’.
[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 17 Apr. 2/5: The difference is about the same as that between a ‘tea fight’ and a ‘muffin struggle’.
[NZ]N.Z. Observer (Auckland) 15 Jan. 169/2: Mrs. N. [...] had developed an ardent desire to be at a Sunday-school picnic [...] presiding over the ‘bun and sandwich scuffle’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Jan. 13/2: A Shroud scribe, whose forte is ‘muffin struggle’ reports, says that ballet girls, like babies, should be attired in long clothes.
[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 53: She wants yer to show up at a sort o’ bun struggle in ’er room.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 32: BUN-STRUGGLE: a tea meeting or tea party.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Jul. 14/2: At a recent tea-scramble, a fortune-teller’s tent was the attraction of the day.
[UK]Hull Dly Mail 5 Dec. 2/4: The muffin struggle that we intended giving last week [...] is postponed until Thursday.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 31 July 2nd sect. 12/5: The opening opf the session [...] partakes of the sorriest features of the sham-fight, the circus, the bun-worry, and the bargain-sale.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 29 Mar. 8/4: The ‘corset parade’ might have been exhibited with perfect safety at a Y.M.C.A. bun-struggle.
[UK]Western Morn. News 16 Dec. 7/6: [headline] Bath Tea Scramble. Mayor whose Guests were 6,000 Too Many.
[UK]J. Franklyn Cockney 284: ‘Bun struggle,’ ‘tea fight’, and other variants, though possibly cockney in origin, are now general in their application.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 109: Put that stuff back in the kitchen, Mancin – we’re not running a blasted bun-rush here, you know.
[US] (ref. to 1920s)Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
bun-worry (n.) [SE worry, to bite at like a dog]

1. (orig. milit.) a tea party; also attrib. (the implication is of ‘soft’ liberalism).

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 28 June 1/3: At a Sunday-school bun-worry a teacher noticed a little boy who sat glowering at his plate of bread and butter.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 5 Jan. 4/4: It should have nothing to do with Booth schemes, Zumini schemes, or bun-worry societies of any form.
[Aus]‘G.B. Lancaster’ Jim of the Ranges 3: ‘Some bun-worry of their own,’ he said.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 219: I remember in my extreme youth being worse than passing sick by those bushes [...] after a juvenile bun-worry.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘In the Dog-Watches’ in Seaways 24: Two bun-worries in three days is about the limit.

2. (Aus./N.Z.) a general jollification.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 156/1: late C.19–20.

In phrases

take the bun (v.)

see separate entry.