butter someone up
Definition of butter someone up
To praise or flatter someone excessively: “Percy was always buttering up the boss, so he was surprised when he failed to get a promotion.”
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What does butter someone up mean?
To butter someone up means to praise or compliment someone to excess, as in Mark tried to butter his math teacher up in the hopes it would help his grade.
You can also keep butter and up together in a sentence, as in I think Haley is trying to butter up her dad so that he’ll drive us to the airport tomorrow morning.
Butter someone up is often used to indicate that a person is flattering someone because they have something to gain and they don’t actually mean what they are saying.
Example: Lisa buttered up her dad so he wouldn’t be mad when he found out she broke the window.
Where does butter someone up come from?
The first records of the phrase butter someone up come from around 1700, although it was originally used without the word up. The source of this phrase is unknown.
How is butter related to flattery? We don’t know. We can imagine that giving someone a lot of praise is figuratively similar to spreading a lot of butter on a slice of bread to make the bread tasty, but there’s no evidence that this is where butter someone up comes from.
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How is butter someone up used in real life?
Butter someone up is used to mean someone is lavishing praise on another person in the hopes of getting something out of it.
The support or disagreement with issues here is not based upon concepts, ideas and merits but based upon the liking of the political party a particular person supports or the liking of a personality one wants to butter up. This is a very immature approach to things.
— Navdeep Singh (@SinghNavdeep) December 24, 2020
One thing I don’t miss about covering sports, people blatantly trying to butter up sources with ridiculous Twitter takes
— Jeremy Schneider (@J_Schneider) April 18, 2019
Want to butter up Dad? Bring him a mozzarella stick when he's on a lunchtime work call. My 10 year old gets it.
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) September 18, 2020
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Which of the following words is a synonym of butter someone up?
How to use butter someone up in a sentence
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