Origin of Ukrainian (?) surname But


Senior Member

Does anyone know the origin of the Ukrainian/Russian (?) surname But?

I've got two examples:



új gép 028_cr.jpg
  • This surname indeed seems to be centered in Ukraine: Бут, while in Russia, as usual, the derived variant prevails: Бутов & Бутова. There is also Бута (Ukraine) and Бутин & Бутина (Russia).

    “Этимологический словарь славянских языков. Праславянский лексический фонд. Выпуск 3 (bratrьcь–cьrky)” · 1976: 101–103 mentions buta and butъ with a set of rather vague meanings. Perhaps, something like "short and fat" (Этимология слова бутуз).


    Senior Member
    Thank you.

    I found the following in Vladimir Dal's "Explanatory Dictionary" (modernized spelling):

    БУТЕТЬ: заваливать яму, ров или воду щебнем, камнем, кирпичом и заливать известью.
    БУТ: часть основания каменного здания, которая находится под землею, ...
    БУТ: ниж-арз. слепень, овод.

    Might there be any relation to either of these two meanings of "but"?
    I could find the index which would explain the abbreviation "ниж-арз.", but if it refers to an Arzamas dialect, the Ukrainian concentration of the name makes the "insect" origin unlikely.
    I don't know about Ukrainian, but in Hungarian we have a number of insect names as surnames, including Szúnyog (mosquito), Darázs (wasp), Bogár (beetle) and Sáska (locust).