This very interesting and long-established surname is of early medieval English origin, and has three possible interpretations. Firstly, Bouch may belong to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given with reference to occupation, or to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, and also to habits of dress. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Old French "bouche", mouth, denoting someone with a particularly large mouth, or perhaps a glutton. The name may also be topographical from residence by a sluice gate or the mouth of a canal or river, deriving from the same source (but used here in a transferred topographical sense). In Middle English the Old French "bouche" also became "bouge" and later "budge", and was used especially in the sense "victuals granted by a king or nobleman to his household or attendants on a military expedition". The surname may therefore also have arisen as a metonymic occupational name for a medieval quartermaster. One Michael od la Buche and a Geoffrey Bouche were recorded in Berkshire in 1225 and 1226 respectively. On October 18th 1620, Nicholas, son of Henry Bouch, was christened at St. Luke's, Chelsea, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Buche, which was dated 1160, in the "Records of the Knights Templars in Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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