Bahut (a French word of unknown origin), a portable coffer or chest, with a rounded lid covered in leather, garnished with nails, used for the transport of clothes or other personal luggage, - it was, in short, the original portmanteau. This ancient receptacle, of which mention is made as early as the 14th century - its traditional form is still preserved in many varieties of the modern travelling trunk, - sometimes had its leather covering richly ornamented, and occasionally its interior was divided into compartments; but whatever the details of its construction it was always readily portable. Towards the end of the 17th century the name fell into desuetude, and was replaced by "coffer" (q.v.), which probably accounts for its misuse by the French romantic writers of the early 19th century. They applied it to almost any antique buffet, cupboard or wardrobe, and its use has now become hopelessly confused.

In architecture, this term is also used for a dwarf-wall of plain masonry, carrying the roof of a cathedral or church and masked or hidden behind the balustrade.