as bright as a button
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(as) bright as a button
Intelligent and quick thinking. Ted's as bright as a button, so he'll find a solution to this problem. Of course Ellen is our valedictorian—she's bright as a button.
as bright as a buttonintelligently alert and lively. informal
There is a play here on bright in its Old English sense of ‘shiny’ (like a polished metal button) and bright in its transferred sense of ‘quick-witted’, found since the mid 18th century.