butterfingers

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butterfingers

Someone who is clumsy and often drops things or else fails to catch something. I dropped another plate! I'm such a butterfingers today. Coach, don't put that butterfingers Jimmy in the outfield!

have butterfingers

To be clumsy, usually momentarily, by dropping or failing to catch something. I dropped another plate! I guess I just have butterfingers today. Coach, don't put Jimmy in the outfield—he has butterfingers!
See also: butterfingers, have

have (or be a) butterfingers

be unable to catch deftly or hold securely.
This phrase comes from the idea that hands covered with butter will be slippery, making holding on to anything difficult. There was also a dialect sense of ‘unable to handle anything hot’, as if your fingers were made of melting butter. Butterfingers! is often jeeringly shouted at someone who has failed to catch a ball in a game.
See also: butterfingers, have
References in periodicals archive ?
An absolute shocker, and wasn't helped by his hesitant, butterfingered team-mates.
But his butterfingered bunglers crashed to earth with an almighty bump and were mercilessly trampled by the Springboks, desperate to atone for their defeats by Ireland and England.
McGraw, who learned at the age of 11 that he was the son of Major League pitching legend Tug McGraw, makes his major acting debut as Charlie Billingsley, an ornery former Panther star who takes out his disappointments in life on his butterfingered tailback son Don (Garrett Hedlund).
England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff took a light-hearted swipe at his butterfingered father Colin after scoring a superb century in the second npower Test with the West Indies at Edgbaston.
They probably tried but couldn't, these being the most bone-headed Ockers ever seen: all butterfingered crash-bang-wallop and strewing kickable penalties like Bill Gates doling out charitable donations.
McGrath for a towering six off butterfingered Paul Reiffel and successive fours off the first two balls of Damien Fleming's final over.
Ridley is more explosive than BJGE, but he's going to have to curb the butterfingered ways that plagued him late in his rookie season if he hopes to play at all.
Which makes it a good week for sloppy eaters, soapdodgers and butterfingered chefs.
He may also have been the one man in the place who was caught by surprise reprises by Letizi's butterfingered demise.
As so often, it was vice-captain Dougie Brown, one of the previous day's butterfingered miscreants, who atoned with an important half-century, shared chiefly in a stand of 75 with Tony Frost.
But at least 34-year-old Nasser, unlike some butterfingered team-mates on the field, safely held on to 7lb 3oz Joel yesterday when he proudly showed him off for the first time.
He and scrum-half Robert Howley did their not inconsiderable best, but trapped between feeble forwards and butterfingered backs Gareth Edwards and Barry John would have struggled.
OXO ``Good Grips'' tools are a true friend to any butterfingered handyman.
A few were the fault of butterfingered receivers, but most were due to his surprisingly inexplicable decision making.
Lowly Broadstreet, bolstered by a fistful of recent recruits, maintained their improving form with a second successive home win denting the promotion prospects of a Dudley Kingswinford side lightweight up front, butterfingered and lacklustre behind.