A buttload of wine is 126 gallons of wine. For real. This isn’t an April Fool’s Day prank. A “butt” is an actual unit of measurement.
Basically, before measurements were standardized, the Imperial System – considered the “wild west” of measuring systems – was used. Seafaring merchants shipped wine, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverages in large wooden casks, and the casks came in a bunch of different sizes, ranging from a rundlet (the smallest) to a tun (the biggest). Fun fact: a tun is the equivalent of two butts (LOL).
So, where did the term “butt” come from? Whoever gave the butt its name was certainly not thinking of anyone’s rear end. The word “butt” comes from “botte,” the French word for boot. “Botte” is also an Italian word, meaning barrel – but the French connection is the important one here. The 12th century saw a spike in wine exports, largely because the English were #thirsty for claret, a wine made in Bordeaux, France.