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SOURCE: Nickname & Occupation
Meaning & History
1. English: nickname for someone with some fancied resemblance to a bittern, perhaps in the booming quality of the voice, from Middle English, Old French butor ‘bittern’ (a word of obscure etymology).
2. English and German: metonymic occupational name for a dairyman or seller of butter, from Old English butere ‘butter’, Middle High German buter.
3. German: possibly a short form of any of the various compound names formed with Butter ‘butter’ (see 2).