"light woolen stuff loosely woven, flag-material," 1742, of uncertain origin; perhaps from a dialectal survival of Middle English bonting "sifting," verbal noun from bonten "to sift," because cloth was used for sifting grain. The Middle English verb is via Old French, from Vulgar Latin *bonitare "to make good," from Latin bonus "good" (see bonus).
popular name of a lark-like bird, c. 1300, bountyng, a word of unknown origin. Perhaps from buntin "plump" (compare baby bunting, also Scots buntin "short and thick;" Welsh bontin "rump," and bontinog "big-assed"), or a double diminutive of French bon. Or it might be named in reference to speckled plumage and be from an unrecorded Old English word akin to German bunt "speckled," Dutch bont, which are perhaps from Latin punctus.
updated on August 31, 2017