Partly from Middle Dutch boeye (“life buoy”); and partly continuing Middle French boue(e) (“a flotation signaling danger”), from Old French boue, buie (“a piece of wood or cork floating above an anchor to indicate where it is wet”), probably from Frankish *baukan, from the same Proto-Germanic source. Akin to Old High German bouhhan (“beacon”), Old Saxon bōkan (“signal”), Old Frisian bāken (“signal”), Old English bēacen (“sign, signal”). Less likely from Latin boia (“fetter”), from Ancient Greek βοείη (boeíē). More at beacon.
bouée f (plural bouées)