button one's lip

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Alternative forms[edit]


button one's lip

  1. (idiomatic) To remain silent, especially in order to keep a secret or to avoid saying something inappropriate.
    • 1910, Jim Nasium, "The Baseball League on the Styx," The Sunday Press (Pittsburgh), 15 May, p. 2 (retrieved 19 July 2010):
      "Yes," put in Solomon. "I've been tipped off to this guy Mars, and you'd better tell him to button up his lip and not start anything."
    • 1971, Ted Blackman, "Green as team player too," Montreal Gazette, 13 Oct., p. 13 (retrieved 19 July 2010):
      "We advised John not to talk, to button his lip, but he talked anyway."
    • 2010, Larry Woody, "Busch Better Heed Burton," FOXNews.com, 1 June (retrieved 19 July 2010):
      Busch wisely buttoned his lip and didn't say anything else.