December 30, 2016
- butter (noun)
- 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?
- "Everything they ate was what my father would call "side dishes": potatoes, zucchini, bean salad, and a mystery casserole that I could not identify. They didn't eat meat, and they didn't use butter." (Sharon Creech, _Walk Two Moons_)
- 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."