" bread- and-butter miss"

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New Member
korean - english
"bread-and-butter miss" <-----Topic added to post by moderator (Florentia52) ----->

I know this word by dictionary.
But how means young girl or school girl.
I think this word has relation to etymology.

Could you please teach me...
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  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    From the Routledge Dictionary of Historical Slang:

    Bread-and-butter: 1 Boyish, girlish, esp. schoolgirlish, as in a bread-and-butter miss: coll; from ca 1860.

    The origin is not explained, but I think you can safely forget about it unless you are making a study of antiquated expressions. This expression fell into disuse through the twentieth century, and I don't think anyone would use it today.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    A "bread-and-butter miss" was a set phrase, an old-fashioned colloquialism. We wouldn't use such an expression today.

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    We do still use bread and butter to denote dull things in some contexts, in the UK. You might see it used to describe something as routine, unimaginative, but I have never seen this collocation with "miss" and would find it very odd if I read it in a modern text.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    Here's the OED's explanation of this older use of "bread-and-butter":
    a. attrib.; spec. Of or pertaining to the age when bread-and-butter is extensively consumed; boyish, girlish; esp. [...] school-girlish.

    As others have said, we wouldn't use it today, though we do use several other figurative meanings of "bread-and-butter".
    Per suzi's post #6, in AE we also currently use, very much so, "bread and butter issues" as a political term, something with deep economic implications for voters struggling with varying policies affecting their jobs and salaries, so therefore the ability or lack thereof to feed their families, etc.
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