As Bright As a Button (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "As Bright As a Button"?

If someone is described as bright as a button, it means they are quick-witted.

The term as bright as a button is a play on words. It plays on the idea that bright means both clever and shiny. (Early military uniforms had highly polished metal buttons, and this will have contributed to the idea that buttons are bright.)
As Bright As a Button (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • She daydreams a lot, but she's as bright as a button.
  • Charlotte's as bright as a button. I'm sure she'll find a solution.
  • Jack does the Times' cryptic crossword in his lunch break. He's as bright as a button.

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