Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Presently around the Swabian-Alemannic "Fasnet" we can often read of "Butzenzunft", or "Butzenlauf", or "Butzen", obviously referring to people in traditional costumes.

Image showing a "Butzen" Wikimedia

There are some other references to this word e.g. in this children's song:

Es tanzt ein Bi-ba Butzemann
In unserm Haus herum, dideldum,
Es tanzt ein Bi-ba Butzemann
In unserm Haus herum.

The swabian term for an apple core "Apfelbutzen" may also be related.

I am wondering if this is an entirely regional word from alemannic dialects, or if it has a wider etymologic origin lost over time in other German regions. Is there anything known on the origin and meaning of "Butzen"? Did it survive in any other related German expressions?

share|improve this question
    
Ich wusste gar nicht, dass ihr Schwaben was mit Fastnacht am Hut habt :D –  Em1 Feb 15 '12 at 11:26
    
I know that song from my childhoot, but i have never heard any of those words (nürnberg/augsburg) –  Flo Feb 15 '12 at 11:50
3  
@Em1 Nein, die Schwaben nicht, nur die Alemannen. –  Deve Feb 15 '12 at 13:43

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Im Wikipedia-Artikel zu Butzemann steht:

Sprachlich ist der Begriff vermutlich aus dem mittelhochdeutschen Wort bôzen oder bessen „schlagen, poltern, klopfen“ abgeleitet.1 Eine andere mögliche Namensherleitung ist verbutzen (verhüllen, vermummen; vom langobardischen Wort pauz). Im Sächsischen (Raum Dresden) gibt es die Bezeichnung "Mummum".

Im Buch Deutsche Mythologie von Jacob Grimm steht auf Seite 289:

bozen Butzenmann

Das Wort Apfelbutzen könnte tatsächlich denselben Ursprung haben:

In der Duden-Etymologie wird davon ausgegangen, dass "Butzen" zu dem im vor einigen hundert Jahren untergegangenen althochdeutschen Verb "boszan" (stoßen, schlagen, klopfen) gehört und "abgeschlagenes, kurzes Stück" bedeutet. So wie Küchenabfälle beschaffen sind, eine einleuchtende Erklärung.

(Quelle)

Eine andere Quellen besagt allerdings, dass Apfelbutzen von

puto (beschneiden, behauen) = das Kerngehäuse entfernen

abgeleitet wurde.

share|improve this answer

I don't know if this is related at all, but if it refers to a piece of clothing it might: I know Butz as a dialect word for trousers. It is a Ripuarian dialect, so maybe the word traveled along the Rhine.

See this link for the more explanations of the word and different variants of it: mitmachwoerterbuch

share|improve this answer

Bützen / Kölsch bütze has the same origin.

http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/buetzen

share|improve this answer
2  
If you had clicked on the image of a "Butzen" you'd probably find it hard to imagine they are (even remotely) related ;) –  Takkat Dec 30 '13 at 18:11
    
@Takkat Actually Duden suggests the exact same etymology (from mhd bozen) for bützen as the accepted answer for Butzemann. I think this should have been a comment rather than an answer, but downvoting it seems a bit harsh. –  fifaltra Dec 30 '13 at 22:41
    
@fifaltra: not me who downvoted (see my meta posts on voting or my profile for my attitude towards this) - I had not upvoted because I would have loved to see more on how this common origin had developed to such a difference ;) –  Takkat Dec 30 '13 at 22:54
    
@Takkat In that case I'm sorry I leapt to conclusions. –  fifaltra Dec 30 '13 at 23:00

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.