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Bread and butter

Posted by john on March 17, 2011 at 20:20

In Reply to: Bread and butter posted by Baceseras on March 16, 2011 at 16:36:

: : I queried on your homepage re "bread and butter" but found some strange answers.

: : The phrase "bread and butter" I remember since childhood was exchanged as two or more people passed one another, as along a hallway. I've heard it used this way occasionally by people of a certain age all over the country. ???

: [It may have been used as you say, but in the US from the 1940s on "bread and butter" was the quip when two people walking side by side split momentarily to pass either side of anything in their path. Origin unknown. - Baceseras.]

I'm with Baceseras. We (Canadian west coast) used it when two or more people walking were momentarily separated by another person coming the other way or by passing around opposite sides of an obstacle. It had to be said to ward off the possibility that the split could become permanent. Alternately, you could back-track and go around the person or obstruction on the same side that your friend did. Other word pairs also worked well....salt 'n pepper, fish 'n chips. peanutbutter and jam....