baster n Pronc-spp baister, bayster [Agent n < baste to beat (OED2 baste v.3 1533→); cf whopper. In sense 2 evidently influenced by association with bastard.] ME, NH Cf basting big adj phr, rauncher n
1 An extraordinarily large or vigorous example of its kind—usu in comb old baster.
1903 Wasson Cap’n Simeon’s Store 194 ME, Up she come ag’in with a reg’lar ole baster of a rat right in her hands. 1940 Harper’s Mag. 182.107/1 ME, Baster (pronounced bayster) is a popular word with boys. . . He’s an old baster, they say, when they pull an eel out of an eel trap. 1941 AN&Q 1.61 ME, “Ol’ baster” . . means that the fish, bullfrog, lobster, or hog being described is an old bruiser, an old buster, a champion, the biggest or strongest of his kind. . . “Baste” . . is a living word in Maine. A neighbor of mine chased her truant little boy home with a shingle, “bastin’ him every other jump.” 1948 Woodbury John Goffe’s Mill 124 NH, I could not understand the finer threads of the narrative but it featured a mill he had run in his youth upcountry. He described it as a “number one Lane—one of them big basters.” 1975 Gould ME Lingo 3, Baister—Possibly baster. . . Indicating large size. . . Often with the adjective “old”: “He hooked an old baister of a togue.”. . . The word is apt for a storm: “An old baister blew up.” A high swell which jolts a lobster boat may be described as an old baister. 1976 Portsmouth Herald (NH) 8 Sept 4/5 ME, With a new system of weights and measures just around the corner, I can’t help but wonder what will happen to some of those that we old New Englanders have been using from time immemorial. . . How about the fellow who raises a garden, . . will the out-size potato he digs still be known as an “old bayster” or an “old rauncher”?
2 in comb old baster: Used as a mildly derogatory or affectionate term for a person or animal.
1934 New Yorker 28 July 26 PA, “Go on, get out!” Johnny screamed, and called Mr. Holding an old baster. 1962 Moore Second Growth 155 ME,“Now, you old bayster, what is it you see that I don’t?” Everard muttered. He stepped silently to the shelter of a spruce thicket and peered down the edge of the slash. 1995 Kuralt America 175 ME, John is seventy-two, still lobstering, and in the words of one of his acquaintances, “a tough old baster.”