fine words butter no parsnips

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Alternative forms[edit]

In the 17th century, found in various forms with the adjective for the words or the food that is buttered being different, thus allowing combinations of "fine/fair/soft words butter no parsnips/cabbage/fish/connie" before becoming standardized in the form "fine words doth butter no parsnips".


Attested as early as 1639 as "faire words butter noe parsnips", alluding to the English habit of buttering foods to make them more palatable.


fine words butter no parsnips

  1. Nothing is achieved by empty words or flattery.


See also[edit]