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PostItalian Bullies (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 08/09/21 3:29 am)
John E asked about the equivalent of the English "bully/bullying" in other languages.
"Bullo" is an Italian word that's been around a long time, even if the origin is unknown. "Bullismo" was not widely used in the past, but now it is very common.
JE comments: I did some etymological digging, and the English bully comes from the Middle Dutch boele, "lover." Originally it was a term of endearment. Remember Teddy Roosevelt's favorite expression? In the Great War, British Tommies dined on bully beef (canned corned beef, usually from Argentina or Brazil). It was anything but loved, but it kept you alive in the trenches. The "bully" in this case probably comes from its bovine source.
As for how the term came to signify a sadistic predator on the weak, the mystery remains. Other bullying equivalents? Please check in. I'm especially interested in the non-European languages.