One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural buttiesNorthern English
A filled or open sandwich.‘a bacon butty’
- ‘But it's here, over a cappuccino and a bacon buttie, that I meet Gianluca Bisol, whose family have been making prosecco for five generations.’
- ‘Scottish lovers of the beefburger and the chip butty are being encouraged to stand up for their rights to eat fattening, unhealthy food.’
- ‘I snuck out on the pretext of using my phone to grab a crafty chip buttie.’
- ‘What are these bacon butty and burger fryers rebelling against?’
- ‘Tipping the scales at almost two tonnes, and with 400 industrial sized tins of tuna between the giant slices of bread, this monster sandwich is to enter the record books as the biggest buttie ever made.’
- ‘Eighty youngsters from Woodlands School, Harrogate, were given a breakfast of bacon and sausage butties to mark the start of Farmhouse Breakfast Week.’
- ‘Yes I do like my bacon buttie but I can't wait to have some chilaquiles!’
- ‘We have tea every afternoon and we come down for a bacon butty or something.’
- ‘So I've checked my email, made myself a bacon buttie, got ready for my day and still got into work for 08: 15.’
- ‘At the door again, he leaned on the door post, munched a tangy bacon buttie, sipped tea, smelled wood smoke and watched the world.’
- ‘Well, it was lunch time, and I'd not taken breakfast, and it was over forty years since I last had one, so I gave in to temptation and nipped in for a chip buttie.’
- ‘You wouldn't make a chip buttie with these chips but they are so handy to have in the freezer.’
- ‘Oh yes, I mean, if you've never eaten a condensed milk sandwich, or even a sugar buttie you just haven't lived.’
- ‘Don't butter it if you're making me a sarnie (unless it's a chip butty, then you need to put plenty on).’
- ‘It's no different to having a chip buttie or a crisp sandwich.’
- ‘A filling of dillisk may still be used; also popular are blaa butties - blaa with chips or a filling of luncheon sausage.’
- ‘But you can't really beat a fish-finger butty, with a Singles cheese slice, ketchup, mayonnaise and a bit of margarine.’
- ‘I eventually got up and was given a cup of tea and a bacon buttie.’
- ‘Then again, why not celebrate them in all their starchy glory in a chip butty, a mound of soggy spuds sandwiched between two slices of buttered bread.’
- ‘So I trotted merrily over to the best of the refreshment stands, treated myself to a hot bacon buttie and a cup of black tea, and sat down to enjoy it.’
Mid 19th century: from butter + -y.
1informal (among miners) a friend or workmate.
companion, boon companion, bosom friend, best friend, close friend, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, soul mate, alter ego, second self, shadow, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate, ally, comrade, associateView synonyms
- ‘On arrival, my butty unlocked the tools and gave me my shovel, sledge and mandrill.’
- ‘I was given into the care of a mentor or, as the miners say, a butty.’
- ‘My shivering horror attracted my butty's attention and then he laughed.’
2historical A middleman negotiating between miners and the mine owner.
- ‘A Charter Master, aka contractor, bargain man, bargain taker, butty, butty man, contracted for the getting of coal in a specified section at an agreed rate per ton.’
- ‘A Butty in the mining districts is a middleman: a Doggy is his manager.’
- ‘Originally coal was mined on a 'butty' system where a butty was a middleman between a gang of half a dozen workers and the proprietors, the miners being paid a fixed rate per ton.’
3An unpowered freight barge intended to be towed.
- ‘There were occasional commissions for working boats in the years that followed - though I'm not aware of any butty boats having been built since.’
- ‘Out on the canal the motor boat towed the butty boat behind it on long tow ropes, but on arriving at a wide lock the two boats would ‘breast up’ and be worked through the lock at the same time - saving time.’
- ‘Competing were six teams of four who each had to haul a heritage butty boat, known as a keppel, from the Big Lock pub in Middlewich to Webbs Lane playing fields.’
- ‘The captain's family would sleep in the quarters situated in the butty boat, a cabin of meagre proportions which makes today's touring caravans look vast.’
- ‘Here steamers often unloaded or exchanged cargoes and butty boats, returning to London or working alone to Birmingham where narrow locks made it easier to use a horse rather than tow the unpowered boats.’
- ‘It's a meadow, on a butty boat, towed by a tugboat, through the canals from Bath to London.’
- ‘Such tugs would have been used for pushing or towing non powered butty boats.’
- ‘Sagitta is an historic working narrowboat now fully refurbished with her butty boat Carina.’
- ‘On the right is the butty boat with its large wooden rudder and canine crew, on the left is the motor.’
- ‘Unlike many butties Malus has never been converted, and used a motor boat but has kept her butty boat framework and structure throughout her lifetime.’
- ‘Since we have two narrowboats, at each little lock we work our motorboat through first then, while she waits above the lock, we empty the water out and pull our butty boat Alnwick in on a long rope.’
- ‘‘Kildare’ is an un-powered butty boat constructed of riveted iron.’
Late 18th century: probably from booty in the phrase play booty ‘join in sharing plunder’.
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