“아이고 먹고 살기 힘들다.” 라는 말을 종종 듣는다. 문득 든 생각. 나를 먹여 살리는 것. 즉 “주 소득원”을 영어로 뭐라고 할까? “main source of income”이라고 해도 되지만, 좀 더 시각적이고, 미각적인 표현이 있다. “Yeah, I do a lot of photography, but consulting is my bread and butter


  1. someone’s basic income
  2. one’s trade, proffession or other means of earning.


“주 소득원” 이 원래 의미지만, 상징적으로 “무언가를 지탱해주는”는 뉘앙스로도 많이 쓰인다. - Idioms are the bread and butter of DET!


  • Although candy is our bread and butter, We also care about the health of our customers. (Parks and Recreation)
  • The concerts with the Impromptus and the Moments Musicaux, and for my bread-and-butter work I’m developing the sonatas. (Amour)
  • It’s all about marketing. Over- or underweight guys who don’t get laid - they’re our bread and butter. People like those two outside should be yours. (Chasing Amy)
  • Teaching provides the bread and butter. (To Sir With Love)
  • A:You know that fungus is my bread and butter. B:Really? You know what my bread and butter is? Bread and butter (Psych)


  • Sony’s Bread and Butter? It’s Not Electronics (NYT)
  • This sort of analysis is the bread and butter of linguistics. Every so often, though, the researchers come across a bit of jam. (Economist)
  • They were my bread and butter, you know. That was the thing. They were the instrument that underlined everything that I traded. (Bloomberg)


  1. 워낙 유명한 표현이라 “bread and butter”가 제목인 영화도 있다. image_img
  2. bread and butter가 이름인 식당도 참 많다. image_img
  3. 한국에서는 누군가와 같은 말을 동시에 했을 때 “찌찌뽕!” 이라 외치는 문화가 있다. 이런 문화가 미국에도 몇개 있는데, 그 중 하나가 커플이 지나가다가 장애물(전봇대나 다른 보행인) 때문에 잠깐 떨어져 걸어야할 때, “bread and butter!“라고 외치는 문화다.


  • It’s their bread and butter, and how they maintain power.
  • Sales and marketing have long been Salesforce’s proverbial bread and butter
  • As a storyteller ideas are your bread and butter. To give yourself to your ideas, putting them in control to create the story


가끔씩 bread and butter가 형용사로 쓰일 때도 있는데, 그 때는 “of an everyday or ordinary person or thing” 의 의미로 사용된다.

  • a good bread-and-butter player
  • they’re now demanding action on bread-and-butter issues including pensions and health care.


  • Is it a slang? No.
  • Can I use it in an email? Yes.
  • Can I use it in a formal setting? Yes.
  • Frequency? A LOT

context plot data source: Davies, Mark. (2008-) The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990-present. Available online at http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/


오래전부터 쓰여진 표현이라는 것을 확인할 수 있다. ngram_img image source: Google Ngram


  1. 순서가 중요하다. 빵이 버터보다 먼저임.
  2. Grants are the butter and bread of professors (X)
  3. Grants are the bread and butter of professors (O)