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"Button(ed)-up" and "button(ed) down" --- how do you use them? I've used them for long, but now that I try to tell the difference, I can't really. Buttoned-down is used for shirts with the collars fastened at the ends, and buttoned-up is used for when you have all the buttons on your shirt fastened, isn't it?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Hiro
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That sounds right to me!

Buttoned-down is also an idiomatic way of describing a conservative person.

CJ
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Both work as "conservative," but:

http://www.wordreference.com/definition/buttoned%2Ddown
http://www.wordreference.com/definition/buttoned%2Dup

Tough to really distinguish them from each otherEmotion: smile
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Couldn't we also say buttoned-up for a conservative person?

Hiro
 Marius Hancu's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Hi,

It can certainly be hard to distinguish between these two expressions. Possibly, you might be able to take this general appproach.

'Button down' suggests 'securing something'. Thus, if you button down your collar, you keep the points from moving around and from curling up. If a hurricane is coming, you button everything down..

'Button up' suggests 'closing something'. You button up your shirt to close it. You 'button up' an army tank by closing all the hatches.

Best wishes, Clive
Couldn't we also say buttoned-up for a conservative person?

Apparently, from Marius' post, you can. I've never heard buttoned-up for a conservative person.

CJ