Two Kinds of booty
Occasionally a word in English will have a number of meanings that are notably different. One example of this is nice, which may mean "pleasing," "trivial," or "fastidious." Despite their semantic differences, all of these senses have a shared pronunciation, spelling, and most importantly, etymology; the latter determines their status as different meanings of the same word. In other instances, words with distinctive meanings may share a spelling and a pronunciation but have different origins, making them entirely different words. Such is the case with booty. The sense meaning "plunder" has been in our language since the 15th century and can be traced to the Middle Low German word būte, meaning "distribution, share, plunder." The slang word booty meaning either "buttocks" or "sexual intercourse," though spelled and pronounced the same, has a distinctive origin and is therefore an entirely different word. Dating from the early 20th century, it comes (via African-American English and possibly an English-based creole) from the Early Modern English word bottie, meaning "buttocks."
Synonym Discussion of booty
- the spoils of political victory
- a bootlegger's plunder
- thieves dividing up their booty
- the wartime right of seizing prizes at sea
- picked through the ruins for loot
Definition of booty
BOOTY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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