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buttery-bar “and let it drink—Bring your hand to the,” TWELFTH NIGHT, i. 3. 66. The buttery-bar means the place in places and in great houses whence provisions were dispensed; and it is still to be seen in most of our old colleges. I do not answer for the correctness of the following explanation: “The bringing the hand to the butterybar, and letting it drink, is a proverbial phrase among forward Abigails, to ask at once for a kiss and a present. Sir Andrew's slowness of comprehension in this particular gave her a just suspicion, at once, of his frigidity and avarice. She therefore calls his hand dry; the moistness of the hand being a sign of liberality, as well in matters of love as money” (KENRICK) .

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  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (1):
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 1.3
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