cute as a button

Idioms & Phrases

cute as a button

Also, cute as a bug's ear. Pretty or attractive in a dainty way, as in That baby is cute as a button. Cute originally was a shortening of acute, for "sharp-witted and clever," but in the early 1800s it also took on its current meaning. Other than that buttons and bug's hearing organs can be small, there is no good explanation for these similes.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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