The term buccaneer (French-boucanier) is from the language of an indigenous Caribbean population known as the “Tupi”, and referred to a wooden rack called a “bucan” that they used to smoke the meat they hunted from native cattle and oxen found in the region. By extension, the term came to refer to a group of French woodsmen who appeared in the region at the end of the 16th century to hunt the cattle. They smoked the meat to prepare it for shipment to the other islands and Europe, and became known as ‘buccaneers’. As the meat became more scarce, they added piracy to their repertoire to support themselves and the term evolved to refer to pirates in general.
“A Buccaneer” from Howard Pyle’s, Book of Pirates