Pass the spread, please.
In our family, we have real butter for a few special occasions during the year. The rest of the year, we misapply the word "butter" to any butter substitute. We say "Please pass the butter," when there hasn't been butter in the house for months. What we really mean is, "Please pass the spread."
We like the word "butter" a bit better than "spread." I think most people do.
I've never seen a butter advertisement that claimed it tasted just like spread. However, lots of spreads claim to taste like butter. It's clear which word has a desirable connotation.
(If you wondered where this post is going, we have now arrived.)
Have you ever noticed this? With no added letters and only a slight punctuation change, the spread named "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" would be named "I Can't Believe It! Snot Butter!"
Snot butter provided material for kitchen table jokes at our house for years. A few days ago, I asked Keely to get the butter out of the refrigerator. When she found a tub of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," she made a scornful remark about "what you call butter."
I figured she was testing me to see if I still remembered, so I replied, "That's not butter; that's snot butter!"
She seemed oddly pleased.
By the way, a Google search reveals that quite a few people have read the words "Snot Butter" on the tub of spread!