December 30, 2011
butter (noun)
\BUT-er\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a solid yellow fatty food made by churning milk or cream2 : a substance resembling butter in texture or use
How do you use it?
I asked for seconds of my favorite part of dinner: mashed potatoes, topped with lots of melting butter.
Are you a word wiz?

Word scholars have traced the word "butter" back to the Greek word "boutyron." The Greeks made "boutyron" from two other words. What do you think those two root words mean?

Answer B is the cream of the crop! People have been enjoying butter probably nearly as long as they have been milking cows. Our word "butter," however, is much younger than that. "Butter" dates back to before the 12th century, and since the Middle Ages it has maintained the same spelling and meaning of our present-day word. Previously, in Old English it was spelled "butere," a modification of the Latin "butyrum." The ultimate ancestor, though, is found in the Greek word for butter, "boutyron," which is made up of the root words "bous," meaning "cow," and "tyros," meaning "cheese."
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