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You are watching: Where did the phrase cute as a button come from

If you take a step back and think for a 2nd about the expression “cute as a button,” you’ll probably end up thinking to yourself, “What does that even mean?” The apparent reply is: “Nobody knows what it means, however it’s provocative.” True, really true, but what if we dig a tiny deeper? Don’t worry. Ns did the digging for you. After ~ exhaustive research, I’m ready to share the true beginnings of the expression “cute together a button” v the Notre Dame community. First, both the native cute and also button concerned English indigenous Latin by method of French. The etymology of button is as follows: so late Latin bottonem ended up being the French bouton and also subsequently the English button. The word cute is one abbreviated kind of acute, which way small (you might remember miscellaneous of acute angles in geometry). So, the sources of cute and also acute space the same. The precedent for acute is aigu and for aigu, acutus. What does every one of this mean? Well, it turns out the in enhancement to the an interpretation of small, aigu is regularly used in medical terminology to median a condition that shows up abruptly and needs immediate care, which is likewise true of the English acute. This seems irrelevant until you think about that bouton have the right to refer come a pimple or spot. Finally, the hatchet “cute as a button” is known to have developed in the 1800s, a time when illness like chicken pox, measles, mumps and also the dreaded little pox threatened resides daily. Now, we bring it all together. In a time as soon as chicken pox and also other conditions ran rampant, a native recently acquired from one more word offered for sudden symptoms and the need for urgent care and also a word acquired from another word offered for dermatological spots uncover themselves in the same unexplainable colloquialism. Come state what is by now obvious, “seeming together in need of medical treatment as someone v spots indigenous chicken pox, measles, etc.” was the original meaning and ideal usage the “cute together a button.” because that example, a usual 19th century conference may have gone something choose this: “Good work Bartholomew! her complexion is rather robust this morning, much like our impeccable attire.” “Thank you, Reginald, and a great day come you together well! Unfortunately, ns would need to say girlfriend look positively together cute as a button!” “Heavens. Execute you think I should locate the nearest apothecary?” “Please do. In fact, i shall companion you forthwith.” So, don’t think the next human who claims you space “cute together a button” in reality thinks buttons room cute. With the exemption of one Ryan room resident, nobody thinks that. Girlfriend should, however, confirm the human speaking come you is a clinical professional prior to taking your advice and going come St.

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