phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: On which side his bread is buttered.

Posted by Masakim on October 28, 2001

In Reply to: On which side his bread is buttered. posted by James on October 28, 2001

: I would like to know the origin of the expression. Anybody? Thank you.

Knows What [sic] Side His Bread Is Buttered On. Keeps in mind where his interest lies, where his income comes from. Bread is tastier with butter than without it, and one would take pains to see that at least one side was buttered/ The saying is old enough to have been included in John Heywood's _Proverbs_ * "I knowe on whiche syde my breade is buttred."
From _The Dictionary of Cliches_ by James Rogers.

He knoweth vpon whiche side his breade is buttered well enough, I warrante you. (Bullein, _Dialogue_, 1564)

Bosinney looked clever, but he had also -- and it was one of his great attractions -- an air as if he did not quite know on which side his bread were buttered. (John Galsworthy, _The Man of Property_, 1906)