Etymology
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button-hole (n.)
1560s, "hole or loop in which a button is caught," from button (n.) + hole (n.). The verb, also buttonhole, meaning "to detain (someone) in conversation against his will" (1862) was earlier button-hold (1834), from button-holder (1806, in this sense). The image is of holding someone by the coat-button so as to detain him.
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buttonwood (n.)
also button-wood, "North American plane tree," 1690s, from button (n.) + wood (n.). So called for its characteristic round fruit.
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buttress (v.)
late 14c., literal and figurative, from buttress (n.). Related: Buttressed; buttressing.
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buttress (n.)
early 14c., "structure built against a wall to give it stability," from Old French (arc) botrez "flying buttress," apparently from bouter, boter "to thrust against," a word of Frankish origin (compare Old Norse bauta "to strike, beat"), from Proto-Germanic *butan, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike." Figurative sense "any source of support" is from mid-15c.
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butty (n.)
"slice of bread and butter," 1855, northern English, from butter (n.) + -y (2).
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butyl (n.)
hydrocarbon radical, 1855, from butyric acid, a product of fermentation found in rancid butter, from Latin butyrum "butter" (see butter (n.)).
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butyric (adj.)
"pertaining to or derived from butter," 1823, from stem of Latin butyrum "butter" (see butter (n.)) + -ic.
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buxom (adj.)
late 12c., buhsum "humble, obedient," from Old English bugen "to bow" (from Proto-Germanic *bugan-, from PIE root *bheug- "to bend") + -som (see -some (1)), for a total meaning "capable of being bent." Related: Buxomly; buxomness.

The meaning progressed from "compliant, obliging," through "lively, jolly," "healthily plump, vigorous and attractive," to (in women, and perhaps influenced by lusty) "attractively plump, comely" (1580s). In Johnson [1755] the primary meaning still is "obedient, obsequious." It was used especially of women's figures from at least 1870s, and by 1950s it had begun to be used more narrowly for "bosomy" and could be paired with slim (adj.). Among its cognates are Dutch buigzaam, German biegsam "flexible, pliable," which hew closer to the original English sense.
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buy (v.)

Old English bycgan (past tense bohte) "get by paying for, acquire the possession of in exchange for something of like value; redeem, ransom; procure; get done," from Proto-Germanic *bugjan (source also of Old Saxon buggjan, Old Norse byggja, Gothic bugjan), which is of unknown origin and not found outside Germanic.

The surviving spelling is southwest England dialect; the word was generally pronounced in Old English and Middle English with a -dg- sound as "budge," or "bidge." Meaning "believe, accept as true" is attested by 1926. Related: Bought; buying. To buy time "prevent further deterioration but make no improvement" is attested from 1946.

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buy (n.)
"a purchase," especially a worthwhile one, 1875, American English, from buy (v.).
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