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Yes, Ruy Lopez was a real person, Rodrigo (Ruy) López de Segura, who wrote the book Libro de la invención liberal y arte del juego del Axedrez.
See also: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=78728
Can you please show us a PGN of this "Bread and Butter" opening you've mentioned, as it seems no one except you knows what it is
Sounds like some GM used a metaphor.
Got yer Ruy Lopez right here:
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