7.29.2009

theme thursday :: cute as a {button}

amelia collage

even with a fat lip. how did she get it? running away from a little boy who was trying to grab her curls. the whole scene was as cute as a button. 

i researched the origin of "cute as a button" and came up with this...

CUTE AS A BUTTON - "cute, charming, attractive, almost always with the connotation of being small, 1868 (from the original 1731 English meaning of 'acute' or clever). Cute as a bug's ear, 1930; cute as a bug in a rug, 1942; cute as a button, 1946. Cute and keen were two of the most overused slang words of the late 1920s and 1930s." From "Listening to America" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1992.)

Flexner may have an idea about the word "cute," but he provides no guidance on the question of how a button can be cute. The key to the issue is that it is not the button on a shirt that is meant here, but a flower bud seen in the popular name of small flowers, such as bachelor's button (q.v. "button" (n) in the OED, meanings 2 and 3).

The British version is "bright as a button". This makes sense if you think of a polished brass button. The phrase is really only ever used of small people - you'd say that a child, or maybe a small dog, was as bright as a button, but you'd never say it of a six-foot man. So the image is of a small sparky thing.

28 comments:

  1. That's a sweet picture :)

    Nice read, and informative.

    ReplyDelete
  2. HA! Great take and photos, Liza. Tho' here, she looks a bit put off. I'd be too if my lip got nicked...ouch! 'Tis interesting to see where all these phrases originated from...

    ReplyDelete
  3. She is adorable! But I'm sure SHE didn't find it as cute as we do!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @bobbie @subbie @jules -- no, she definitely didn't think it was cute. she was ticked off!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was in hospital yesterday and one girl had gotten some kind of bug bite...right along side her mouth...ouchies!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fabulous pics and cute as a button is right! She reminds me of my daughter at that age. Look at that face!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aww poorz fatz lipz
    I often wondered what was "cute" about a button but she is!

    ReplyDelete
  8. too cute. love the look she is giving. careful of those boys...pulling curls...sounds like something a boy would do. nice on the explanation of the saying...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ow! A fat lip is no fun at all, but she definitely IS cute as a button.

    Kat

    ReplyDelete
  10. Definitely cute as a button! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. She's adorable! I like the phrase 'cute as a button' better than 'cute as a bug in a rug'....bugs in rugs are never cute! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  12. Like others have said, she is adorable.

    I like the rundown on the 'cute as a button'

    ReplyDelete
  13. Definitely cute as a button. No doubt at all :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree with Betsy. Buttons = cute? Perhaps. Bugs (in or out of a rug) = cute? Not so much, usually.

    ReplyDelete
  15. She is squeezably adorable. And I too had wondered about that peculiar phrase. Neat post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. COULD she get any cuter? Great pix and post... -Jayne

    ReplyDelete
  17. OH she is sooo lovely! She is the EPITOME of Cute as a Button!

    Thanks for your BLOGGER imput...I finally got the tool bar back...had to get rid of cache and cookies!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. @ all -- you're sweet for finding her as cute as her completely biased mom. Little did I know that the phrase "cute as..." was referring to a flower.

    @subby -- at the hospital? Hope everythings in working order.

    @betsy and fox -- I'll third that!

    @Jill -- having too many cookies in the cyber world is bad. Can't even have a virtual cookie without the guilt...darn!

    ReplyDelete
  19. liza, no worries just some pre-testing thing for Mom (next week, I'll worry )...

    ReplyDelete
  20. @subby -- hope all ends well.

    ReplyDelete
  21. liza, thanks. Will keep ever-one "posted"( bad pun, I know )...

    ReplyDelete
  22. ARGH!! Why is she so ridiculously cute?!?!?! Man, it starts with wanting to get those curls...but if she turns out to be a stunner like her madre...dios mio!!! *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  23. my little girl looks like she was upset!!!! she looks like Lucia in this picture. MM

    ReplyDelete
  24. @Tanya -- somehow blogger lost the last comment. Very strange. We stayed at Amelia Plantation Inn, again. Check out their family specials. It includes lots of discounts for the kids including kids camps during the days. Well worth it and if you can bring your bikes. You and the kids can bike everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  25. omg she sure is cute as a button! i hoped over and am following you now, look forward to more great photo's, i love looking thru photographer or anyone else's eyes and "see" what they "see!" :)
    -shelley
    http://iamstillstandingafterallthistime.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi! I'm visiting from MBC. Great blog.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you.