phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at


Posted by Smokey Stover on February 19, 2005

In Reply to: Buttinski posted by ESC on February 18, 2005

: :
: : Not sure of the spelling; but would like to know the origin of this "phrase"..

: : Most I can figure out...comes from movies? made pre/during/post WW2..

: : ie: "Don't be such a buttinski."

: : Thanks for your help.

: One reference says it dates back to the 1920s. But this reference has a citation from 1902. Buttinski or buttinsky -- butt + in + sky. "Sky" being a common ending to Slavic names. Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.

The 1902 reference was no doubt to a work by George Ade, a well-known American humorist and author of, among other things, plays and movie scripts. Since he enjoyed injecting colloquialisms and what he called slang from his rural background into his writings, one may presume that "buttinski" had a place in the language of rural America in the 19th century. Incidentally, since butting in is done by butters in, one can also find the word rendered as "butterinsky". (Cf. the OED s.v. buttinski.) SS

© 1997 – 2024 All rights reserved.