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buttonhole (someone)

To confine or accost someone in or with conversation. Likened to holding onto someone by the lapels (on which the buttonhole used for a boutonniere is located). I tried to leave the office early, but Larry buttonholed me with a tedious conversation about weekend plans.
See also: buttonhole

buttonhole someone

Accost or detain a person in conversation. For example, The reporter tried to buttonhole the senator, but she got away. This term is a metaphor for literally grasping someone by a buttonhole on his or her clothing. [Mid-1800s]
See also: buttonhole, someone


tv. to accost someone; to make someone listen to one. (As if grabbing someone by the coat lapel to keep them from getting away.) The guy buttonholed me on my way out, and started asking me a lot of questions.
References in periodicals archive ?
collarstand will be closed with a horizontal centered button and buttonhole to be in line with vertical buttonholes on front placket
All Inside seams are sewn by machine; every bit of visible stitching, including the 36 buttonholes, and all the top stitching is done by hand.
Jan Marron, volunteer fundraiser at the centre, said: "Chocs Away, a traditional sweet shop in Stockton, are donating favours, a wedding cake has been donated and volunteers from the centre are making buttonholes for the day.
At the Hampton Court Flower Show, Syd and his family wore buttonholes he had created.
Meticulous management and due care with technique will minimise any risk of associated infection with buttonholes.
They found with this modified technique, buttonholes could be successfully established by multiple cannulators, although there was greater than 28% attrition for cannulators who moved from the traditional method to the buttonhole technique.
St George's red rose buttonholes will also be for sale for pounds 1 from Ben N Zaks florists.
Garden centre manager Steve Bowyer, said: "During the event there will be lots of displays on show including buttonholes, bouquets and table displays, as well as flowers for decorating churches and receptions.
IT may look like a toy, but the mini's 10 stitches are enough for most jobs except buttonholes.
On top of that, there are all the different elements to consider: bouquets, buttonholes, corsages, table centres and pedestal arrangements.
To tie in with the St David's Day theme, daffodil buttonholes will be given out to the first 50 customers.
We took photos through buttonholes, toured the nearby Buttershaw estate by mistake and scoffed Asda tuna pasta from a tub, as that was the closest we could find to salad nicoise.
MALE dolphins try to impress females by carrying weed similar to the way men wear flowers in buttonholes, scientists say.
Tara Lees and Lee Campbell, from The Flower Room, at Fort Dunlop, will be selling pink buttonholes tomorrow as part of breast cancer awareness month.
Seams for different projects, buttonholes and necklines, and tips on adding decorative embellishments such as beads makes for a colorful presentation pairing color photos of both finished projects and their step-by-step construction.