The term was used by airman
in World War II
s that were missing
The origin of the term is not certain. Some believe that it has to do with Burton beer which is produced in
Burton-on-Trent. Others have speculated that it has to do with a Spanish Burton, a complicated pulley system involving three blocks. Still others believe that the term originated with a-burton, a method of stacking wooden casks for transport on ships that was prone of toppling.