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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.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.