butter her up


      • to flatter someone
        to praise or compliment someone excessively in order to gain their favor or approval

      • to manipulate someone
        to use flattery or charm to persuade or manipulate someone into doing something

    Examples of butter her up

    • The salesman tried to butter her up by complimenting her outfit and buying her a drink at the bar.

      To "butter someone up" means to flatter or compliment someone in order to gain their favor or influence over them. In this example, the salesman is using flattery and small gifts (buying her a drink) to try to influence the woman and potentially make a sale.

    • After the meeting, Tim knew he needed to butter his boss up if he wanted to secure a promotion. He wrote a thank-you note and brought in some pastries to share with the team.

      In this example, "buttering someone up" can also be seen as a way to show appreciation or gratitude in order to gain favor or recognition. Tim recognizes that his boss has the power to promote him, so he's taking steps to show his appreciation and make himself more attractive for the promotion.

    • Sarah knew she needed to butter her aunt up if she wanted to find out where the family heirloom was hidden. She complimented her aunt's cooking and helped her with the dishes.

      Similar to the previous example, "buttering someone up" can also be seen as a way to gain information or insight that you might not otherwise be able to access. In this case, Sarah realizes that her aunt has knowledge about a family heirloom that she wants, so she's flattering her and being helpful in order to gain her aunt's favor and potentially find out where the heirloom is hidden.

    • The politician spent hours buttering up key members of the community, hoping to gain their support for an upcoming election.

      This final example shows how "buttering someone up" can be a strategic political move. By flattering and currying favor with influential members of the community, the politician is hoping to gain their support and ultimately win the election.

    • Sarah asked her friend Alice to help her convince her boss to give her a promotion. She knew her boss was reluctant to promote her, so Sarah planned to "butter him up" with compliments and praise. However, she realized that her boss's wife was a close friend of her boss, and she worried that her boss might share his reservations with his wife. To prevent this, Sarah decided to "butter her up" first.

      "Buttering someone up" means to flatter or compliment them in order to gain their favor or influence. In Sarah's case, she wanted Alice to help her butter her boss's wife up so that the wife would not negatively influence her boss. By making the wife feel good about herself, Sarah hoped that the wife would not tell her husband about his reservations about promoting Sarah. Ultimately, Sarah's plan worked, and she was promoted.

    • Jane wanted to persuade her boss to give her a promotion, so she spent extra time chatting with him and bringing him treats like coffee and pastries. She also made a point to compliment him on his work and ideas. Her co-worker, Rachel, noticed the change and teased her, "Looks like you're buttering him up pretty good."

      To "butter someone up" is to flatter or compliment them in order to win their favor or influence. The expression comes from the idea that spreading butter on something can make it more appealing and pleasant, just as flattery can make a person more amenable to one's requests or proposals. In this case, Jane was using her charm and kindness to improve her chances of getting a promotion.

    • Andrew was trying to persuade his girlfriend to change her mind about going on a vacation with him, but she was still hesitant. He decided to try a different tactic, and spent an entire evening cooking her favorite meals, playing her favorite music, and watching her favorite movies. By the end of the night, she was smiling and laughing, and told Andrew, "You're really buttering me up, aren't you?"

      In this example, Andrew was trying to win back his girlfriend's affection by doing things that she enjoyed. By making her feel loved and appreciated, he hoped that she would be more receptive to his proposal. The expression "buttering someone up" can be used in a variety of contexts, from business negotiations to romantic relationships, where the goal is to influence or persuade someone to take a desired action.

    • During the recent election campaign, the candidates were constantly trying to butter each other up, giving each other conservative or moderate speeches, avoiding any inflammatory statements that could offend voters. They also made careful gestures of friendship and cooperation, in an effort to earn the favor and support of their opponents. The news commentators joked, "It's an election tradition - they're both buttering each other up for the debates."

      In this context, the expression "buttering someone up" can be used to describe the mutual flattery and ingratiation that often occurs between political opponents or rivals, as they try to build a positive image and win votes. The phrase highlights the temporary nature of these overtures, as the competition continues, and the true characters and intentions of the candidates are revealed.


    The idiom "butter her up" is used to describe the act of flattering someone in order to gain their favor or manipulate them into doing something. It can be used in a lighthearted or joking manner, but it often carries a negative connotation, implying insincerity or manipulation.

    Origin of "butter her up"

    The origin of the idiom "butter her up" is unclear, but it likely comes from the association of butter with smoothness and softness. Just as butter makes food smoother and more palatable, the act of "buttering someone up" involves making them more receptive and agreeable through flattery and charm. The idiom has likely been in use for many years, as the concept of using flattery to gain favor is a timeless and universal tactic.

    Examples of the idiom "butter her up" can be found in literature and popular culture, where characters may use flattery to manipulate others or gain their favor. Over time, the idiom has become a common phrase in everyday language, used to describe the act of excessive flattery or charm.