Butter someone up


      • flatter someone
        Compliment or praise someone excessively or insincerely in order to gain their favor or approval.

      • persuade or influence someone
        Use flattery or charm to convince someone to do something or agree with your viewpoint.

      • get on someone's good side
        Seek to win someone's favor or approval by using flattery or charm.

    Examples of Butter someone up

    • John was buttering up his boss by complimenting her work and bringing her coffee every morning.

      This idiom means to flatter or praise someone in order to gain their favor or influence. The phrase "butter someone up" comes from the idea that spreading butter on something makes it more appealing and enjoyable. By complimenting his boss and bringing her coffee, John is making himself more attractive to her and increasing the likelihood that she will be favorable to him in the future.


    The idiom "butter someone up" is primarily used to describe the act of flattering someone in order to gain their favor or influence their actions. It can also refer to the attempt to get on someone's good side by using charm and compliments.

    In a negative context, the idiom can also imply insincere or excessive flattery, often with the intention of manipulating or deceiving someone. In this sense, it carries a connotation of dishonesty and deceitfulness.

    Overall, the idiom "butter someone up" is commonly used to describe the act of using compliments and charm to persuade or influence someone, often with the goal of gaining favor or approval.

    Origin of "Butter someone up"

    The origin of this idiom is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated from the practice of spreading butter on a piece of bread to make it more appealing and tasty. In the same way, flattery and charm are used to make someone more appealing and likable.

    The earliest recorded use of the phrase can be traced back to the 19th century, where it was commonly used in literature and newspapers. Over time, the phrase became more popular and is now widely used in everyday language.

    Some sources also suggest that the phrase may have originated from the French term "beurre," which means butter, and was used to describe the act of spreading butter on someone's bread or biscuit as a sign of flattery and friendship.