One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of a cross: having arms which terminate in an ornament of three rounded knobs or buds resembling a three-lobed leaf. Chiefly as postpositive.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Gerard Legh (d. 1563), heraldic writer. From Anglo-Norman botoné, botonee and Middle French boutoné, boutonné, use as adjective of the past participle of botoner, boutonner to cover with studs from boton, bouton bud, stud, button.
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