1560s, frequentative form of stutt "to stutter," from Middle English stutten "to stutter, stammer" (late 14c.), cognate with Middle Low German stoten "to knock, strike against, collide," from Proto-Germanic *staut- "push, thrust" (source also of Old Saxon stotan, Old High German stozan, Gothic stautan "to push, thrust;" German stutzen "to cut short, curtail; to stop short, hesitate," Dutch stuiten "to stop, check, arrest, stem."), from PIE *(s)teu- (1) "to hit, beat, knock against" (see steep (adj.)). The noun is attested from 1854. Related: Stuttered; stuttering; stutterer.