This very interesting medieval surname is English, but from a French name. This appears to be Taillebois, which apparently translates as "cut wood," and may have referred to a specific area of woodland cleared for agriculture. If so Cutbush would seem to be a sort of nickname either for somebody who was a wood cutter or one who lived by an area of cleared land. The prefix "Cut-" appears in a number of surnames including Cutbill, whose meaning is open to conjecture but may have referred to a maker of billhooks, Cutbeard, said to be a form of Cuthbert, and Cutlack, Cuthlack and Goodlake, from the pre 7th century Old English given name Guthlac.A cutpurse was a medieval robber who specialised in using a sharp knife to slash open the large purses that men carried, but this does not seem to have generated a surname! It is unclear when this surname was first recorded, but two early examples are those of Henry Cutbussh in the rolls of Canterbury Cathedral in circa 1450, whilst Thomas Cutbush and Mary Gibbs were married at St Georges Chapel, Westminster, in 1752.
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