button your lip


button your lip


  • to stop speaking
  • to refrain from talking too much
  • to ask someone to be quiet

Example Sentences

  1. “His continuous talking makes me wish he could button his lip.”
  2. “Please button your lip.”
  3. “She was asked to button her lip.”
  4. To not come across as being a talkative, Amanda decided to button her lip.
  5. If everyone could button their lip, then we could all observe a minute of silence for the fallen heroes.
  6. Although it was her turn to give her speech, Lisa buttoned her lip.
  7. John is such a chatty person and so it is surprising that he has buttoned his lips this evening.
  8. “Hey kids, keep your lips buttoned!”


This originated in America in the early 20th century. Imagine if everyone walked around with a button on their lips, then the lips can be buttoned up when needed. This became the polite way of telling someone to keep quiet without coming across as rude. It is used mostly as a reprimand or a subtle way to let someone know that it is high time they stopped speaking. To Button one’s lips is used regularly in both every day conversation and can be found a lot in literary works.

Synonyms | Variants

  • lips buttoned
  • button your lips

Share your opinions1 Opinion

This is actually a rude way to tell someone to be quiet, not a subtle or polite way.

‒ Melanie Shotwell June 7, 2023

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