What Did She MEAN to Say?

Cidu Bill on Nov 20th 2012


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Frazz, Jef Mallett, comic strips, comics, humor | 23 responses so far

23 Responses to “What Did She MEAN to Say?”

  1. Richard Nov 20th 2012 at 01:55 am 1

    “You’re pushing my buttons.”

  2. mitch4 Nov 20th 2012 at 02:15 am 2


  3. Elyrest Nov 20th 2012 at 09:25 am 3

    Richard’s right - bu***ns = buttons.

  4. Daniel J. Drazen Nov 20th 2012 at 11:37 am 4

    It’s like the Neo-Southern word “finna.” It’s a contraction of the words “fixing to” as in “I’m finna get some new shocks for the truck.”

  5. chemgal Nov 20th 2012 at 11:38 am 5

    And here I submitted this as a LOL.

  6. SenorWeird Nov 20th 2012 at 11:45 am 6


    Daniel, you just blew my mind. I’m a high school English teacher and whenever we get to slang, I always talk about origins of things like “dimebag” and “shone” and “green”. But not once has ANYONE ever been able to come up with a logical answer to “finna.” The “f’ just eluded us. It was used as “going to” so the best we could come up with was a transcription error when typing, since the F and the G are next to each other.

    I never thought to explore it as a slang breakdown of an already colloquial term.

    I am so happy.

  7. Chakolate Nov 20th 2012 at 12:33 pm 7

    I’m with chemgal, it was a LOL for me, too.

  8. Boise Ed Nov 20th 2012 at 01:32 pm 8

    I was thinking of “buns” relating to her hair. Reobserving it just now, I see his finger dangerously close to pushing her butt (buns). Thanks for the “buttons” explanation, folks.

  9. J-L Nov 20th 2012 at 03:05 pm 9

    If you think about it, the Ts in “buttons” aren’t pronounced anything like Ts (at least in American English). It’s more of a “ngh!” sound, if you can figure out what I mean.

    (If you don’t believe me, try saying (out loud) the “T” sound, then the word “buttons” as you would in normal conversation, like “I need to sew some buttons.” Unless you make a point to emphasize the Ts in “buttons,” that word won’t contain a “T” sound.)

    Or somewhat like a glottal stop. If you don’t know what a glottal stop is, try to imagine yourself making a mistake and saying “uh-oh!” The sound between the “uh” and “oh” is a glottal stop. If it weren’t for the glottal stop, that expression would be a rather drab “uhhhh, ohhh.”

    So now pronounce the word “buttons” without pronouncing the Ts, and without the glottal stop. What do you get? Answer: “bu-uns,” or, when spoken quickly, “buns.”

  10. J-L Nov 20th 2012 at 03:12 pm 10

    In American English, the letter T is a weird animal. Although most American English speakers are well aware how it’s supposed to be pronounced, were not often aware that we don’t pronounce it as “T” in many words, including:

    tree (or in any “tr” pair, like in “triangle”)
    water (believe it or not, you likely pronounce the “t” as a “d”)

    It goes without saying that, like many letters, the letter T can also be silent at times.

    There are a few words that British speakers will pronounce with a T sound that American’s usually won’t, like “bottom” and “Harry Potter” (which Americans will usually pronounce with a “d” instead of “t”).

  11. J-L Nov 20th 2012 at 03:14 pm 11

    …and “mature” (which Americans pronounce with a “ch” should in place of the “t”).

  12. Keera Nov 20th 2012 at 04:29 pm 12

    And here I was, thinking Mrs. Olson meant “bunions”. I figured a woman like her would have ‘em.

  13. Mary in Ohio Nov 20th 2012 at 07:30 pm 13

    Mittens without the t sound can become a real poser in a conversation.

  14. Elyrest Nov 20th 2012 at 07:52 pm 14

    I don’t know J-L. I tried pronouncing all those words and I do use the “T’ in most of them - not both of the Ts though in double T words. I suppose if I wasn’t thinking about it I “offen” might slur over them. Now I’m gonna talk funny for days.

  15. Cidu Bill Nov 20th 2012 at 07:59 pm 15

    I do pronounce the T’s in “buttons.” My brother-in-law, who grew up not very far from where I did, does not. Go figure.

  16. Boise Ed Nov 20th 2012 at 09:40 pm 16

    J-L (10), we Americans — or most of us — DO pronounce the T in “button,” but we don’t aspirate it. Observe your mouth as you say it, and you’ll find that the tip of your tongue does hit your alveolar ridge. I have heard some English accents that don’t; it sounds like “BUH (stop) en.”

  17. Chakolate Nov 21st 2012 at 12:50 am 17

    SenorWeird @6, You’d have gotten it sooner if you had spent any time in Chicago. Here they say, ‘finda’ instead of ‘finna’ and there’s the slightest pause in the ‘i’, like ‘fi-inda’, only much, much more slight.

  18. Todd Nov 21st 2012 at 05:11 am 18

    I would like to know where J-L is from, since I (a Californian) pronounce the t in the words he mentions, except for nature and mature which both have the “ch” sound. And I’m not aware of Texans or Indianans (where my parents are from) not pronouncing the letter either.

  19. Mark M Nov 21st 2012 at 11:10 am 19

    A bit of personal synchronicity here. After reading this comic I swear the first person I talked to told me that so and so was pushing her buttons.

  20. Chakolate Nov 21st 2012 at 05:49 pm 20

    Todd @18,

    I grew up in Michigan, and everybody there, as well as here in Chicago, does the glottal stop instead of the t in mitten and similar words.

    If you listen to The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, you’ll hear Steve Novella do it, too.

  21. Treesong Nov 21st 2012 at 11:08 pm 21

    Western Pennsylvanian born and bred, and I use a glottal stop in ‘button’; the tongue tip can end up behind the upper teeth but doesn’t have to, and the actual stop is in back. I also have it in ‘mountain’, ’something’ (sump’m), and sometimes ‘pumpkin pie’ (but not, I think, just ‘pumpkin’). Contrariwise, Mindy, in the Buttons & Mindy cartoons in Animaniacs, had a very clear T: buh t’ns.

    Does anyone without serious caffeinosis ever say ‘buttons’ as ‘buns’? I may lose the ‘t’ but it’s still clearly disyllabic for me.

  22. Chakolate Nov 21st 2012 at 11:40 pm 22

    Treesong @21,

    Yes, Mindy said the ‘t’, but her mother (AKA ‘Lady’) elided it.


  23. Stan Nov 22nd 2012 at 05:31 am 23

    J-L @ 11

    Certain folks do pronouce the ‘t’ quite clearly in the word ‘mature’, and to me it sounds like ‘ma-tour’. I hate it when I hear it pronounced like that. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

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