know what side (one's) bread is buttered (on)

(redirected from knew what side his bread was buttered on)

know what side (one's) bread is buttered (on)

To know how to best ensure one's success. I know what side my bread is buttered on, so I was very nice to the recruiter and promptly sent her a thank you card after our interview. A: "It was always so annoying the way Tom sucked up to the boss." B: "Yeah, but now he's a regional manager, so I guess he knew what side his bread was buttered."
See also: bread, butter, know, side, what
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

know what/which side of the bread is buttered (on), to

To know where one’s best interests lie. This metaphor appeared in John Heywood’s Proverbs of 1546 (“I know on which syde my bread is buttered”), and was used so often over the centuries that it was a cliché by about 1800.
See also: bread, butter, know, of, side, to, what
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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