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[buht-er-fing-gerz] /ˈbʌt ərˌfɪŋ gɛrz/
noun, plural butterfingers. (used with a singular verb)
a person who frequently drops things; clumsy person.
Origin of butterfingers
First recorded in 1830-40; butter + finger + -s3
Related forms
butterfingered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for butter-fingered
Historical Examples
  • She had a good deal of taste, but she was butter-fingered and careless.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • butter-fingered, apt to let things fall; greasy or slippery-fingered.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • Marion, penitent, but annoyed at being called a butter-fingered Handy Andy, let the matter slide for the moment.

    Loyal to the School Angela Brazil
  • For thirty mortal minutes Gardiner had me snapping back the ball to that butter-fingered Bowles.

    For the Honor of the School Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for butter-fingered


(functioning as sing) (informal) a person who drops things inadvertently or fails to catch things
Derived Forms
butterfingered, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for butter-fingered

"apt to let things fall," 1610s, from butter (n.) + finger (n.).



"person apt to let things fall," 1837; see butter-fingered.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for butter-fingered



A clumsy, unhandy person, esp one who regularly drops things

[1850s+ Cricket; Adopted by baseball players in the 1880s]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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