Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for butter-fingered
Historical Examples
  • butter-fingered, apt to let things fall; greasy or slippery-fingered.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • She had a good deal of taste, but she was butter-fingered and careless.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • 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
  • 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
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for butter-fingered

Word Value for butter

Scrabble Words With Friends