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Back-formation from butler.


buttle (third-person singular simple present buttles, present participle buttling, simple past and past participle buttled)

  1. To serve as or perform the duties of a butler.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Because of its origins in back-formation, buttle is considered nonstandard and its uses may often be humorous in nature.

Alternative forms[edit]


  • 1909: J. T. Grein, Sunday Times
    ...even the stoic and impeccable maid of Miss Ethelwyn Arthur-Jones, who 'buttled' as well as the most time-honoured butler.
  • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XV:
    [...] it was Sir Roderick Glossop who suggested it. By the way, you were probably surprised to find him buttling here.
  • 1963, P. G. Wodehouse, Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, chapter I:
    Jeeves, of course, is a gentleman's gentleman, not a butler, but if the call comes, he can buttle with the best of them.
  • 1989: Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the Civil War
    Houses where Negroes buttled or cooked were marked for a visit.
  • 2000: Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum
    At times like this, he buttled when Spriggan the butler was not on duty, or if an extra hand was needed, he footed as well.