French: unexplained. 1. Most probably an altered form of French Buteux, a nickname for someone who was in the habit of pushing or hitting, also an occupational name for someone whose job was to unload goods or cargo, from Old French bouteor. 2. alternatively it could be an altered form of Butaud, from the personal name Botwald, composed of the Germanic elements bod(o) ‘messenger’ + waldan ‘ruler’. This name is found chiefly in New England.