button (one's) lip(redirected from button their lips)
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button (one's) lip
To be quiet. Often used as an imperative. Hey, button your lip! We don't need to hear any more out of you today! Julie knew better than to speak up when her father was so angry, so she buttoned her lip for the moment.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
button (up) one's lip
Fig. to stop talking. (Fixed order.) Please button up your lip! Will you button your lip? I don't want the news to get out.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
button your lipINFORMAL
If you button your lip, you keep silent about something although you would really like to speak. He had the grace and good sense to button his lip, even though this clearly caused him personal pain. As I entered his sitting room, I started laughing and was met with an impatient glare. I hastily buttoned my lip. Note: If you tell someone to button it or button their lip, you are telling them rudely to be quiet. `What have I done to deserve this?' — `Just button it, Park,' the Chief said.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
button your lipremain silent. informal
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
Button your lip!
imperative Shut up!; Be quiet! I’ve heard enough outa you! Button your lip!
See also: button
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
button your lip
Keep quiet. A twentieth-century Americanism, this expression had been current long enough by 1940 for Raymond Chandler to make a play on it: “Somebody ought to sew buttons on his face” (Farewell, My Lovely).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer