Sweet Little Buttercup
November 2, 2014 6:11 PM   Subscribe

What is the origin of the phrase 'Suck it up, buttercup'?
posted by bq to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Can't say I've heard "suck it up buttercup" as a phrase. Have heard "Pucker up, buttercup," which was a 1966 hit for Junior Walker and the All-stars and and comes up in the movie Ferris Bueller's day off, during the conversation between the principal and Cameron (impersonating Sloane's father). I agree about the rhyme thing, but I think the "suck it up" think may be a riff on evolution from the older "pucker up". Both have a similar vulgarity that the song "Build me up, buttercup" lacks, plus they share the "uck" sound.
posted by Diablevert at 7:57 PM on November 2, 2014

I can't prove this, but I have a nagging feeling that it's from either the show Golden Girls, or maybe it was Maude, because I feel like it was said by Bea Arthur.

The other ones that feel "right" are either Candice Bergen on Murphy Brown, or one of the women on Designing Women. It just feels like it belongs to that era of sitcoms. Murphy Brown would make sense, because the character loved the genre of music that encompasses Build Me Up, Buttercup.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:13 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

The phrase doesn't show up in Google Books until 2004 or so (and then not verifiably thank you snippet view). It may appear in I Love You Philip Morris (book but not movie) around that time. Google Groups has execrable search capabilities these days but also shows no earlier history of the term.
posted by dhartung at 12:54 PM on November 3, 2014

To me it sounds like something Judge Judy would say.
posted by cranberrymonger at 8:41 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

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