bread and butter


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bread and butter

1. noun A vital component of something. Bread and butter, as foodstuffs, are considered basic forms of sustenance. A flourishing stock market is the bread and butter of a successful country.
2. noun A job or task that provides one with a steady income. I'm an artist on the weekends, but being a tutor is my bread and butter.
3. adjective Providing financial stability. The phrase can be hyphenated when used as an adjective. I love any writing assignment where I can be creative, but I always make sure to pick up some bread-and-butter gigs to pay the bills.
4. adjective Typical or common. The phrase can be hyphenated when used as an adjective. My sister worries about everything, even the bread-and-butter tasks of everyday life.
See also: and, bread, butter

someone's bread and butter

Fig. someone's basic income; someone's livelihood—the source of one's food. I can't miss another day of work. That's my bread and butter. I worked as a bartender for a year, and it was the tips that were my bread and butter.
See also: and, bread, butter

bread and butter

1. The essential, sustaining element, as in The quality of the schools is the bread and butter of town property values. This idiom alludes to a basic food, bread spread with butter. [c. 1700]
2. Means of livelihood, as in John's job is the family's bread and butter. [First half of 1700s]
3. Ordinary, routine, as in Don't worry about it; this is just a bread and butter assignment. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: and, bread, butter

bread and butter

COMMON
1. If something is your bread and butter, it is your most important or only source of income. `Who's your audience?' — `We play maybe a hundred colleges a year. That is our bread and butter.' I think I'm more controlled at work. I have to be; it's my bread and butter. Note: Your bread-and-butter business is the part of your business which produces the main part of your income. It's not exactly thrilling but it's good bread-and-butter work all the same.
2. The bread and butter of a situation or activity is its most basic or important aspects. It's the bread and butter of police work, checking if anybody had seen anything suspicious. Note: You can also talk about bread-and-butter issues or aspects of something. On major bread-and-butter issues, there's little difference between the candidates.
See also: and, bread, butter

someone's bread and butter

someone's livelihood; routine work to provide an income.
1998 Times It is not that the smaller deal has disappeared—they remain the bread and butter of this industry.
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your ˌbread and ˈbutter

the work that somebody does which provides them with enough money to live: He’s written one or two novels but journalism is his bread and butter.
See also: and, bread, butter

bread and butter

n. one’s livelihood. It’s bread and butter to me. I have to do it.
See also: and, bread, butter
References in periodicals archive ?
To serve, ensure the bread and butter pudding has set, but still has a nice wobble.
I love the original bread and butter pudding, which is brilliant in its own right, but this just adds a top twist.
She called the appeal of fresh bread and butter unsurpassed.
We have been making bread and butter pudding at Simply Heathcotes since the first menu 10 years ago, and it still retains its place as our best-selling dessert.
And, although my mum has not been with us for some 20 years now, just the sight of a bread and butter pudding brings back memories of the days when a wonderful feast would miraculously appear on the table every Sunday followed by this amazing pudding.
IN MY cook book, Heathcotes at Home, I wrote an alternative to my bread and butter pudding but with chocolate.