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Butter someone up

Posted by Henry on March 19, 2004

In Reply to: Butter someone up posted by Bruce Kahl on March 18, 2004

: : : : Hi! Can you please give me some history on this phrase? Thank you...Sax

: : : BUTTER UP -- "Flatter; seek a favor by excessive praise. It is a transfer from the homely practice of spreading an oleaginous substance on bread. Earlier examples of the figurative meaning can be cited, but the pleasantest one comes from the 'Saturday Review' of July 5, 1884: 'The Lord Chief Justice of England made a tour through America and generously buttered the natives." From "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

: : "Butter up" was an answer in a crossword puzzle recently - the clue was "Blandish mountain goat".

: My being at Woodstock in 1969 can sometimes be the reason for fading out once in a while but I don't get the clue/answer of this.
: Anybody?

To blandish is to coax by flattery, in other words to butter someone up. A goat is something that butts. A mountain goat might be a "butter" up a mountain. It's not the best clue I've come across!