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I've heard this term used a few times to describe an exceptionally smooth landing

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  • $\begingroup$ "Exceptionally smooth" landings are not necessarily good ones. I've heard these "gentle" touchdowns referred to as "like a butterfly with sore feet", but firm touchdowns are necessary depending on conditions. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Sep 23 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ Closely related $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Sep 23 at 23:51
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Back when actual butter was the main spread to put on bread, it took a very gentle touch to spread butter straight from the refrigerator (icebox) without tearing up the bread. Thus, a very smooth landing might be said to have "buttered the bread" because it went on smoothly enough to keep from tearing anything up.

This probably also evolved into "greased it on" or "greaser" to refer to a similarly smooth landing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh how I remember this... while I did not like toasted bread it was much easier to spread cold butter on warm toast. $\endgroup$ – Anilv Sep 25 at 1:23

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