Why do people say "I earn my bread and butter"?

i wonder why people always say " I work here or do this job to earn my BREAD AND BUTTER"?

why only bread and butter? why not any other dish? like i earn my PASTA AND COKE from this job. why is it bread and butter? from where this came up or how it started please help me undertand

Best Answer:

Ruth: I think that metaphor has been around for a long time, especially during the depression where bread and butter was such a huge part of a family's diet; some people could only afford bread many days. Also, if someone said that to me, I would assume that they are suggesting the job doesn't pay that well – that it only provides the essentials.

Other answer:

Ruth:
Bread is called the staff of life. Almost every culture eats a wheat, corn, or rice product in one form or another. {Tacos, tortillas, flat bread, PASTA, etc.} And butter represents the good in life. Butter is made from the cream that is in milk … so someone has access to a cow (even if via the grocery store in this day and age), and cattle can be butchered for meat, so bread and butter represents the staples (foundation) of life.
Erik:
It's just an old saying.
Moon Man:
no

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