Word Geek – Butter someone up

The phrase to “butter someone up” is a well-known expression used to describe the process of flattery, by one person to another, before asking them for something of benefit, e.g. “I knew he was going to ask me for a favour because he spent five minutes buttering me up with compliments.”

The origins of the phrase are less well known and are still disputed to this day, with no one being able to prove the origins of the phrase for certain.

Many claim that the phrase originated from ancient India when people used to throw balls of ghee butter at statues of Gods to seek favour and forgiveness.

There’s an even older custom, originating from Tibet, where people make sculptures out of butter to bring them happiness and peace for the New Year. This too has been linked to the origins of the phrase.

Another theory is that the phrase originated from the imagery of spreading butter across a slice of bread because buttering someone up with compliments is like spreading nice comments on them!

At The Language Factory, our service speaks for itself: we have an average client satisfaction rating of 98% and frequently get lovely feedback comments on the projects we’ve run, without needing to butter up our clients! If you’re interested in finding out more about our translators and Project Managers you can drop us an email at enquiries@thelanguagefactory.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1727 862722.


“The Language Factory is always accommodating of my constantly evolving requests. They never fail to deliver top quality translations quickly while maintaining a professional, friendly demeanour. I've had a relationship with them for over two years and they always come through for me.”

Senior Project Manager Field Agency

Get in touch

To find out more about our quality control processes and to request a quote, enter us your details below or call us on +44 1727 862722.

Get a quote

We will help save you time by using our online quote form. We can provide you with a quick quote via email after you fill in a few short details about your project. To find the best cost for your translation, fill in the quick form below.

Job details

Upload a file:

captcha Input this code below

The data you enter in this form will be used to provide you with information you have requested about our services. We will not send you marketing communications unless you consent to it and we will never pass your details on to any third parties. Agree

Related Articles