the name of butts

I recently heard of a woman with the last name of Butts.  (Bless her heart!)  So I’d imagine in various circumstances she’s referred to as Mrs. Butts.  Why does someone have the last name of Butts?  Perhaps it used to not mean what it does today.  According to my research (I actually did some, if a search with Google counts), it used to refer to a mark on a target in archery.  And in centuries past, people often took on the name of their trade/occupation.  But I’m thinking I’d change my name if that was my last name now — if not for my sake, for the sake of any children I might have.  Can you imagine how much ridicule they would face going through public schools?  They’d most certainly be the butt of many jokes…

I know, it’s not fair to have to change your name because the meaning of the word changed.  But what can you do?  Suppose your name was “wuss”.  Would you change it or endure the ridicule for the rest of your life?  I would consider it an opportunity to officially change my name to something really cool.

On a side note, in my research I learned that a “butt” is also “a large bulk-measure cask, with established volumes and quantities for various commodities in historic marketplaces”.  I think it’s obvious why that measurement isn’t used anymore.  Imagine going to a grocery story and asking for a butt full of flour.  AWW-RIGHT!  🙂

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