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Difference between Butter someone up and Oil someone up

butter someone up —(coll.) flatter a person in order to get him to do smth.:

  • No, I am not trying to butter up the professor who is going to grade me on this.

oil someone up

1. (Austral. sl.) advise a person; give smb. reliable information:

  • Don’t worry, I’ll oil him up on what needs to be done.

2. = butter someone up:

  • He had been chosen because of his power in the Senate. Kennedy oiled him up and convinced him he’d be even more powerful as Vice-President.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase grease someone’s palm (sl.)—pay or bribe a person for a special favor:

  • We had to grease the palm of the waiter to get a table in the crowded restaurant.