Cute as a button?

me:  Why do people say “cute as a button”?  I’ve literally never seen a button and thought “HOW CUTE”.  If anything it’s barely functional.  It’s like saying that you’re “adorable as velcro”.

Victor:  Or sweet as a zipper.

me:  Fascinating as a safety pin.  Although, I guess it’s better than “cuter than a bug’s ear”.

Victor:  It’s hard not to be cuter than an insect appendage.

me:  I just looked it up.  It says “cute as a button” is short for “a quail button”.

Victor: What’s a quail button?

me: This monstrosity, apparently:

Victor:  Wow.  That looks…terrifying.  Like a poultry demon.

me:  It’s like if Satan…was a bird.  Except, now that I think about it, Satan is supposed to be super hot and tempting so maybe in a round-about way it all makes sense.

Victor:  “Your baby is as cute as Satan.”

me:  Yep.  That sings.

Victor:  I want that on a greeting card.


In unrelated news, it’s time for the weekly wrap up.

What you missed in my shop (tentatively called “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s round-up sponsored by  Awkward Moments with Men, an uninhibited and snarky collection of sordid but awesome stories about the perils of love and lust for two young women in the modern world.  I haven’t finished it completely, but I recommend.

141 thoughts on “Cute as a button?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. You know that quote has bothered me for a looonnngg time. One of those ones that slips out randomly and then you have that argument with yourself about why you said it in the first place.

  2. I was out in the car today and I drove past someplace that had a blue, I think Americans call them, potty loo’s.

    I immediately thought of YOU, Dr Who and the TARDIS, is there something wrong with me do you think?

  3. My gramma had a great big jar of buttons. In the olden days, buttons were so cool, all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. You can’t find cool stuff like that nowadays. And some of them really were cute! Totally having a retrogasm now…

  4. He’s not that bad.. for a demon.
    I’ve seen worse creatures come into my hotel. of course, they were two-legged demons, but someone found them cute, I suppose…
    I hope Victor comes through…

  5. Your whole exchange with Victor just had me singing “Like Animals” from Dr. Dolittle lol

    Why don’t we say, “noble as a frog”?
    Or, why can’t we say, “wealthy as a hen”?
    True, we say, “devoted as a dog,”
    But what we should say is:
    “Chic as a giraffe,”
    “Pretty as a pig,” eh? —
    That’ll be the big day,
    Won’t it? But when?
    But when?
    But when?

  6. I think I’d prefer a card saying “Wow, your baby will be as hot as Satan someday.”

    I do mean hot as in super successful, of course, because apparently it’s wrong to think babies are hot.

    Although maybe the card could just be “Wow, you’re one hot Satan!” This way we can give it to people, not babies. And by that I mean grownups. I honestly didn’t meant to say that babies are not people, because they so are.

    Okay, I think I’ll stop talking now, or typing, since I seem to be digging a very deep grave for myself over here.

    I’m all for babies. Even the cute as a quail ones.

  7. Or, saying someone wants to have their cake and eat it too. I’ve never understood that phrase either, it always seems like… well I have cake, of course I want to eat it! I can’t imagine just looking at it. It would make more sense if they said something like “Has their cake and wants to keep it for later too.” See, THAT would make sense. People are weird.

  8. Henceforth this is what I will say to my students when they are being anything but adorable (which is almost always) but am not allowed to tell them that.

  9. Cards aren’t all warm and fuzzy anymore, hubby sent me a card once wishing me a speedy recovery from having a burr under my saddle.

  10. Bugs don’t really have ears. So if someone says “cute as a bug’s ear”, that’s probably just a polite way of saying the baby isn’t really cute at all.

  11. The day is here
    there’s no more waitin’
    your precious baby
    is as cute a Satan!


    WTF Cards Inc.

  12. It may be hard not to be cuter than insect appendage, but I’m pretty sure that quail’s done it. Bee’s knees are waaay cuter.

  13. Fluja does videos about this, he’s a German DJ that lives in the USA. His videos are hysterical and he’s always deconstructing idioms in the best way EVER.

  14. I just had a very long and interesting fb thread all about strange sayings that really “get my goat” and so many people chimed in. But no one brought this one up but I shall put in your vote for this phrase.

  15. Forget all that button stuff – has anyone besides me noticed that squirrel is totally hung?

  16. My first thought after reading the words “quail button” was quail poop. Is she talking about quail poop? How is quail poop cute? Then I finished reading and now I’m just confused.

  17. Slightly off topic but……are you doing a 2013 calendar?? Please, please, please say yes. I love this year’s (my mother in law, not so much since she didn’t get the humor of Beyonce when she visited) and I’d definitely buy another one!

  18. I can’t believe you missed out on the taxidermied rodeo squirrel riding a rattlesnake. That would have been so perfect for your collection! Maybe Victor secretly bid on it, and you’ll find it under the Christmas tree. I know I don’t have to ask you to take a picture of that!

  19. Well actually that’s a really bad picture. When I kinda sorta went (more) insane last year I decided to hatch some button quail eggs, and now have three of these as pets. They are pretty cute, BUT the babies are insanely adorably cute. Like one inch high fluffy chick cute.



  20. I often wonder about those old idioms. Like where did “fit as a fiddle” or “cut to the chase” or “up a blind alley” come from anyway?
    Too funny since I thought of that one last week! I should start a list of these ridiculous phrases…

  21. Since we have ‘cute as a bug’s ear’ it should be ‘cute as Satan’s…?’ How about cockle? I know it makes no sense, but I like how it sounds. Damn. Stuck in my head now.

  22. I really do think buttons are cute. But then, I make them, so you’d hope I would. I’m one of those people that exist to make the rest of you look normal, clearly.

  23. I feel this blog post does great injustice to all the cute, sexy and gorgeous buttons I’m proud to have associated with over the years…

  24. I LOVE that I clicked on the “Your baby is as cute as Satan” link and found a review that said – About the product:
    This might be a card someone would keep for decoration in years to come.

  25. I am thinking everyone is cuter than a quail button…perhaps they meant butt??? It is like that game you play when you whisper in someone’s ear…it has just evolved in the saying..LOL.

    Reading the book…you just met Victor…thoroughly enjoying it…laughing my ass off!

  26. I think I finally understand why all the birds started attacking people in that one Alfred Hitchcock movie. I could just see a Button Quail sitting in a tiny armchair like a Mafia don, ordering the birds to KILL EVERYONE.

  27. 1. Sort of like “safe as a kitten”. Where did THAT expression come from? Unless protected, kittens are in almost constant peril.
    2. I don’t know where you found that ugly button quail photo, because they are normally really cute. Just do a Google search on . Freakin’ adorable!

  28. My baby is due in March, I really hope someone’s gives me a “your baby is a cute as satan” card.

  29. I think that slightly more cuddly versions of these exist. Somehow you managed to find cousin Ned from the bad side of the gene pool 😛

  30. My dad would tell me I was “cuter than a bug’s dink” when I was little – I’ve never heard the “bug’s ear” version before.

    But I use the “bug’s dink” line all the time, usually when I’m telling someone how cute their child is. The looks I get range from perplexed to mild panic/terror. Totally worth it.

  31. I just had this convo on Friday! Well, the cute as a button convo……with a baby.

    I was playing with my friend’s 3 month old and said to him(in that baby voice that automatically pops out around babies) “You are cute as a button!! I don’t know why they say that, buttons aren’t exactly cute? I didn’t diss you did I? You are a very handsome little dude” He, no joke, gave me his mommy’s glare when I compared him to a button. Clearly the babe knows!!

  32. Hopefully the photographer just caught that bird at a very bad time.
    Give him the benefit of the doubt.
    Satan bird haters.

  33. My friend and I were talking about a bird called the Shoebill this week, and how it must be what the bird creatures from The Dark Crystal are based on. I’d stick a picture on here, but I don’t know how. Google has some good ones.

  34. But…but I DO think it’s cute. I also think there are some very cute buttons out there. Aaargh, I’m a freak. Thank God you’re here to point out my freakishness.

  35. @Tom Stronach I am totally calling them potty loos now!
    Also: sweet as a zipper. As in: “That potty loo smelled as sweet as a zipper!”

  36. So, saving the balloon Baggins’ house for later? Good idea to keep some things in reserve. (For those who cannot wait, check the recent archives links for “I didn’t buy this but I did ask Victor if he’d buy it for me. “

  37. How about colder than a witch’s tit? Why are their boobs so frigid? Flying at night maybe? Somebody explain that one?!

  38. Can you explain “snug as a bug in a rug”? I’ve never understood that one but I can’t imagine a bug in a rug would be very snug since people step on rugs and then it would be squished.

  39. Tee Hee Tom Stronach, I assure you Americans don’t call them potty loos. 🙂 I think you mean port-a-potties?

    I’m pretty sure I heard that “cute as a button” referred to the small flowers men used to wear in their button holes (like boutonnieres). There’s even a flower called a “bachelor’s button.” I also think it might have originally been “acute as a button”…something to do with the brightness or freshness of the man’s button flower reflected the strength of his love while courting and if the flower faded too quickly it meant his love would too. Or something.

  40. How about “snug as a bug in a rug” ?? I don’t really want bugs in my rugs…EEEWWWW

  41. The cowboy (snakeboy?) squirrel is probably the penultimate taxidermied set-up EVER. Please tell me that Victor saw the merit in that creation and said that if it were, indeed, still for sale, he would have made SURE it became yours.

  42. I don’t know, Jenny. I always thought your whole family are “cute as buttons”. And now that you have showed me the button quail, I double that comment. I think the quail is adorable but then I am partial to birds and animals and insects and trees and skies and flowers and……..

  43. cute as a button. that’s up there with “slept like a baby.” i used to say that until i actually had a baby. baby’s don’t fucking sleep??? WTF? it’s like “i slept like i was in the eye of a hurricane waiting for it to stop and drop my bed in my house on top of a boat or another house.” do. not. get. it.

  44. Pretty much all birds terrify me, but that has gotta be in the top 5%. I think, from now on, when someone says something is “cute as a button” we all know that the proper response is “Noooooooooooooo!”

  45. Like Heather said, “fascinating as a safety pin” is really quite perfect – because safety pins are FASTEN-ating… (get it?) It’s a terrible pun, but it’s worth the stretch!

  46. Despite being extremely southern, I’ve never actually used that term.

    …probably because it’s typically reserved for babies and I tend to not look at/comment on babies because they’re rarely cute and I can’t lie and say they are. Also they are noisy and…well, I just don’t like them, honestly.

  47. Thankfully, NO ONE ever says “you’re cute as a slug” because slugs are creepy, in that slimy, alien sort of way. And if someone did say it, I doubt it would be a term of endearment.

  48. I’ve always wondered that exact same thing. I say to my kitten ‘You’re as cute as a button! Wait, actually much cuter. Buttons aren’t even *that* cute.’

    But personally I like the quail…I think it’s cute. Does that make me a devil-worshiper or something? Help.

  49. Wow I never knew that’s what “button” looks like. It does look a little cute if u look at if with one eye closed, if ya know what I mean haha

  50. Aw, that button is cute. I wouldn’t ever tell someone their baby was as cute as satan, but I am sure my usual response of nervously sticking my head over the pram and saying “what is it?” has the same kind of effect..

  51. Victor nailed it. That looks about as appealing as a monster right before it eats off my face. People in the olden days sure had sick senses of humor! 😉

  52. I used to work for the Velcro company. True story.

    Up close, Velcro nearly isn’t as cute as you’d think. It’s very claw-like and grabby and clingy.

    Like Tom Cruise.

  53. But how could button have ever made it into the urban dictionary, coming from QUAIL button? I mean, who’s ever heard of a quail button – so much so that you would even define it as cute?

  54. me: Why do people say “cute as a button”? I’ve literally never seen a button and thought “HOW CUTE”. If anything it’s barely functional. It’s like saying that you’re “adorable as velcro”.

    Victor: Or sweet as a zipper.

    LOL – these actually have lot’s of meaning for me 🙂 My cats are named Velcro and Zipper and they are both adorable and sweet!

  55. How can you not think that’s the cutest little bird ever! If you want to die of cuteness, just google for images of button quail and look at the handful of chicks!

  56. You finaly seem to be rubbing off on Victor. How many years of marriage did it take? 😀

  57. This post was as truthful as a fan blade. (Fan blades are full of truth. As anyone.)

    Also whenever I spawn I totally hope people give me that greeting card.

  58. Most children are satans…that’s why they are so red when they come out and that little vein in their foreheads looks like it’s going to explode. They cuten up and become less annoying but let’s be real…who else can high kick you in the cervix and not be clotheslined? They know they are getting away with murder so the little shits do it on purpose.

    I blogged today about how bathrooms will tell you if your boo is a douche. I feel some of the traits can be cross applied here.

  59. I would like to tell some people they have children as cute as Satan.

    But alas I am a-feared that some folks who may not be readers of your blog would take it the wrong way. People will call police…it would be a whole big conflama… Will you come bail me out as I am led away in cuffs?

  60. But if the button had a tiny little koala bear face on it, that would indeed be a very cute button. So in that case, “cute as this particular button” really would be a compliment.

  61. “Cute” is short for “acute,” which is to say “sharp, pointed, like the point of a needle.”

    (from Latin “acus,” needle)

    It basically means “tiny,” which fits both the button and the bug’s ear similia.

  62. In semi-related news, my grandma got all dressed up one night and the neighbor told her she looked like a peacock….. I wonder if this is similar to the button quail pigeon looking thing?

  63. there are so many cute things in this world for a major phrase to involve a demon bird. Cute as a chickadee, maybe? Those things are so cute we’ve practically been ritualistically sacrificing them by giving them to toddlers as brightly painted Easter gifts.

  64. from the shit you didn’t come up with section:
    a) someone needs to buy you that rodeo squirrel stat! find the owner!
    b) um, does that dead squirrel have giant furry balls or am i seeing things?

    that is all

  65. The quote that has always bothered me is “Get off your high horse”. The question that I have is it #1. A really tall horse, or #2. A pot smoking horse. And why would I want to get off either one?

  66. In our family the say is “Cuter than a bugs brassiere” – can you imagine how cute that would be? I tiny little bra made specifically for a bug? I LOVE the images it evokes!

  67. ^ My above comment has nothing to do with this post… I just had to know if the pictured awesomeness was yours… 😉

  68. I totally get the bronco bull riding squirrel on a snake, but where in the world would you find a mini white squirrel cowboy hat?

  69. You know, it’s like when you say, “well bless your heart!” to tell someone that they’re really stupid.

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