Updated June 9, 2019

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Family name origins & meanings

  • English : probably from an Old English personal name of uncertain origin; perhaps a cognate of Bothe or akin to Butt. However, forms such as Walter le Botte (Oxfordshire 1279) seem to point to a nickname or occupational name, perhaps from Old French bot ‘butt’, ‘cask’, or bot ‘toad’. Compare Bottrell.
  • South German : occupational name for a messenger, from Middle High German bote ‘messenger’, ‘emissary’.
  • Danish : according to Søndergaard, from Dutch bot, both ‘flounder’ (the fish).