1. childish, juvenile, esp. schoolgirlish, often as bread-and-butter miss, a (deliberately) childish young woman.
|Salmagundi (1860) 214: These little, beardless, bread-and-butter politicians, who, on this occasion, escape from the jurisdiction of their mammas to attend to the affairs of the nation.|
|[||Beppo xxxix: The Nursery still lisps out in all they utter – Besides, they always smell of bread and butter].|
|Men of Character I 76: I know him as I know my nails – a nursery thief – a bread-and-butter footpad.|
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 21 June 3/1: Every boarding-school bread-and-butter miss knows that yarn.|
|Tales of the Early Days 131: What the devil Gov’ment meant by sending me bread-and-butter misses who turn sick at a flogging and faint at the use of the tube-gag [...] I don’t know.|
|Society Snapshots 80: But surely, mother,m there’s no demand nowadays for the bread-and-butter miss, except perhaps by widowed and decrepit peers .|
|Leeds Mercury 10 Feb. 8/1: She is a most charming creature [...] and not for one moment would I wish her to revert to the manner of the simpering ‘bread-and-butter’ miss.|
|Leader of the Lower School 73: ‘Gipsy's hardly what you call a bread-and-butter Miss!’.|
|Aus. Felix (1971) 31: None o’ your ethereal, die-away, bread-and-butter misses. There’s something of Till there is.|
2. plain; thus as n., a plain woman.
|Men of Character 108: She was not a maudlin girl [...] to give herself red eyes for a bread-and-butter face and curly hair.|
|DN II:iii 136: bread-and -butter, adj. phr. ‘A bread-and -butter girl’ is a very ordinary sort of girl, of no brilliancy.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
|Sporting Times 16 Jan. 1/2: She’s no bread-and-butter.‘Habits’|
|Odd – But Even So 15: He wondered how on earth he had ever come to fall in love with Marie Bardsley, a bread-and-butter-Vicarage-Miss if ever there was one.|
|Room at the Top (1959) 38: She always seems a bit insipid to me [...] strictly the bread-and-butter Miss.|
3. basic, fundamental, quotidian.
|Leicester Chron. 19 Oct. 4/1: The assault was a bread and butter affair.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Oct. 19/2: There is not a critic of note in Berlin who will listen with patience to the sentimental inanities of the bread-and-butter romance familiar on the English stage.|
|From Coast to Coast with Jack London 119: [He] carefully took stock of our vehement denunciations of his ‘bread and butter’ line.|
|Man Could Stand Up 38: They had the same sort of good, bread-and-butter brains.|
|Morpeth Herald 9 Apr. 8/5: Bread and Butter Question. Can Capitalism Succeed?qua.|
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 17 Feb. 7/1: Katrina Green [...] lost her bread and butter slave [...] because of the publicity.|
|USA Confidential 165: One reason for the present sorry plight of the movies is that some who manufacture them have contempt for the bread-and-butter customers who make it all possible at the box-office.|
|Essential Lenny Bruce 131: This guy writes a bread-and-butter column [...] he’s afraid to knock cause they’ll lose the ads.|
|Inside the Und. 79: Bread-and-butter crime is [...] extremely dull in nature.|
|Spike Island (1981) 115: You’re working right from the bread-and-butter stuff [...] right up to the heavy level.|
|Deathdeal [ebook] Stolle’s bread-and-butter income came from process serving and debt collection.|
|Guardian Media 21 June 59: The bread and butter revenue [...] is generated by a team of contracted telesales workers.|
|Raiders 1: This lack of ruthlessness [...] was probably the reason why he was still a bread-and-butter robber and had not been invited on to any of the major robbery teams.|
SE in slang uses
describing sexual intercourse.
|New London Spy 111: A fond pair [...] lay extended, bread and butter fashion, and were breathing out vows of eternal love.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: bread and butter fashion. One slice upon t’other. John and his maid were caught lying bread and butter fashion.|
|,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.:|
|Real Life in Ireland 165: You must lay, said the jolly first luff, bread and butter fashion.|
|A Dict. of the Turf, The Ring, The Chase, etc. 16: When slices are placed face to face the butter is in the middle, and ‘bread and butter fashion’ that couple must lie, who inhabit a bed large enough for one only.|
(US Und.) a tramp who begs from house to house.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
a letter of thanks sent to one’s host shortly after having enjoyed their hospitality.
|Home Notes (London) 5 175: The ‘bread and butter letter,’ as it is sometimes called, because it is supposed to be an expression of thanks for what bread and butter stands for. should be written within twenty-four hours after arrival at one's destination.|
|Ladies’ Home Jrnl 1 64: A Bread-and-Butter Letter (as it is called) is due to your hostess, telling her of your safe arrival home, and speaking of your pleasant visit at her house.|
|Pair of Patient Lovers 82: His prompt bread-and-butter letter [DA].|
|Proc. State Farmers’ Instit. (OH) 97: When the girls go away on a visit and come home, they have a fashion of writing what they call a "bread and butter letter" back to the lady who entertained them.|
|Daily Press (Newport News, VA) 4 Oct. 5/3: Following a Sunday spent at the house of friends a ‘bread and butter note’ must be written.|
|Young People’s Pride 199: I’ll write you a charming bread-and-butter letter of course.|
|Cross Creek 173: There came to me in the mail a copy of the Boston Cook Book, even ahead of the conventional bread-and-butter letter.|
|(con. c.1918) My Grandmothers and I (1987) 6: Such a stupid bread-and-butter letter from Ada Wilkins.|
|Rum, Bum and Concertina (1978) 107: On returning to Chatham I wrote a fulsome bread-and-butter letter to her.|
|New Girls (1982) 325: The other letter was essentially a bread-and-butter letter from Lisa.|
|Hobart Town Mag. (Van Dieman’s Land) 1 241: In the centre, projecting a little over the under lip, were two dentrical organs [...] of that class usually denominated ‘bread-and- butter teeth’.|
Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea, London, which was built as a pleasure garden in 1741, but gradually fell into disrepute and was shut down in 1803; it is now part of the gardens of the Chelsea Hospital.
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Bread & Butter Warehouse Ranelagh.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).|