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.
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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 ?
Bread-and-butter projects: <$50,000 per year incremental profit; benefits 1-2 times the cost of the annual budget for incremental research projects and special skill services.
This is accomplished in the bread-and-butter category with activities such as the following:
The important thing in strategy development is the balance between silver bullet and bread-and-butter projects, and making the appropriate trade-off decisions.
A complete series built around a bread-and-butter off-tackle run
COACHES WHO ARE IN THE PROCESS OF organizing an offense have to start with an idea of what they want for a bread-and-butter play and then go on to build a series around it.
My great-aunt Nora, the last of the family on the Kansas homestead, made the world's best bread-and-butter pickles, and they were the magical ingredient in her potato salad.
At Chad's in Santa Barbara, a creative rum butter, served with mini banana, rosemary and jalapeno muffins, sports fabulous flavor and adds a new dimension to the bread-and-butter theme.
lt; On its pages you'll find dishes like lettuce and nutmeg soup, pan fried salmon with sorrel, apple and scallion relish, rack of lamb with an herb crust and mint-butter sauce, Dublin Bay prawn bisque, bread-and-butter pudding with whiskey sauce and Bailey's Irish Cream caramel.