1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Butt

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BUTT. (1) (From the Fr. botte, boute; Med. Lat. butta, a wine vessel), a cask for ale or wine, with a capacity of about two hogsheads. (2) (A word common in Teutonic languages, meaning short, or a stump), the thick end of anything, as of a fishing-rod, a gun, a whip, also the stump of a tree. (3) (From the Fr. but, a goal or mark, and butte, a target, a rising piece of ground, &c.), a mark for shooting, as in archery, or, in its modern use, a mound or bank in front of which are placed the targets in artillery or musketry practice. This is sometimes called a “stop-butt,” its purpose being to secure the ground behind the targets from stray shots. The word is used figuratively of a person or object at which derision or abuse are levelled.