How Well Do You Know English Slang?
Old English lippa, from Proto-Germanic *lepjon (cf. Old Frisian lippa, Middle Dutch lippe, Dutch lip, Old High German lefs, German Lefze, Swedish läpp, Danish læbe), from PIE *leb- "to lick; lip" (cf. Latin labium).
French lippe is from a Germanic source. Transferred sense of "edge or margin of a cup, etc." is from 1590s. Slang sense "saucy talk" is from 1821, probably from move the lip (1570s) "utter even the slightest word (against someone)." To bite (one's) lip "show vexation" is from early 14c. Stiff upper lip as a sign of courage is from 1833. Lip gloss is attested from 1939; lip balm from 1877. Related: Lips.
c.1600, "to kiss," from lip (n.). Meaning "to pronounce with the lips only" is from 1789. Related: Lipped; lipping.
c.1300 (surname Botouner "button-maker" attested from mid-13c.), from Old French boton "a button," originally "a bud" (12c., Modern French bouton), from bouter, boter "to thrust," common Romanic (cf. Spanish boton, Italian bottone), ultimately from Germanic (see butt (v.)). Thus a button is, etymologically, something that pushes up, or thrusts out.
Meaning "point of the chin" is pugilistic slang, by 1921. A button as something you push to create an effect by closing an (electrical) circuit is attested from 1840s. Button-pusher as "deliberately annoying or provocative person" is attested by 1990 (in reference to Bill Gates, in "InfoWorld" magazine, Nov. 19). In the 1980s it meant "photographer."
late 14c., "to furnish with buttons;" early 15c., "to fasten with buttons" (of a garment,) from button (n.) or from Old French botoner (Modern French boutonner), from boton (n.). Related: Buttoned; buttoning. Button-down (adj.) in reference to shirt collars is from 1916.
button but·ton (bŭt'n)
A knob-like structure, device, or lesion.
Either of two fleshy folds that surround the opening of the mouth.
A liplike structure bounding or encircling a bodily cavity or groove.
To stop talking; not tell what one knows: I wish Jim Quello would button his lip (1847+)
7 (also button man or button player or button soldier) A low-ranking member of the Mafia; soldier (1960s+ Underworld)Related Terms
To play a musical instrument, esp in jazz; blow: He couldn't lip anything proper anymore (1950s+ Jazz musicians)Related Terms
besides its literal sense (Isa. 37:29, etc.), is used in the original (saphah) metaphorically for an edge or border, as of a cup (1 Kings 7:26), a garment (Ex. 28:32), a curtain (26:4), the sea (Gen. 22:17), the Jordan (2 Kings 2:13). To "open the lips" is to begin to speak (Job 11:5); to "refrain the lips" is to keep silence (Ps. 40:9; 1 Pet. 3:10). The "fruit of the lips" (Heb. 13:15) is praise, and the "calves of the lips" thank-offerings (Hos. 14:2). To "shoot out the lip" is to manifest scorn and defiance (Ps. 22:7). Many similar forms of expression are found in Scripture.