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.)

Previous and Next Sayings

Test Your Knowledge of English Proverbs and Idioms

Ready for the Test?

More Proverbs, Sayings, and Idioms

Help Us To Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?
Next lesson >

See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

Page URL