noun, plural but·ter·fin·gers. (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 formsbut·ter·fin·gered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for butter-fingered

Historical Examples of butter-fingered

  • 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.


    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 singular) informal a person who drops things inadvertently or fails to catch things
Derived Formsbutterfingered, 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

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