bright as a button/new penny

(as) bright as a (new) penny

Intelligent and quick-thinking. Ted's as bright as a penny, so he'll find a solution to this problem. Of course Ellen could be valedictorian—she's bright as a new penny.
See also: bright, penny

(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.
See also: bright, button
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bright as a button/new penny

Of quick intelligence. The expression links the sparkle of a good mind with the shininess of a brass button or new coin. The adjective bright has been used in the sense of “quick-witted” and “intelligent” since about 1700.
See also: bright, button, new, penny
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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