Push my button


Senior Member
canada mandarin
Hi. Does "push....someone's button" mean to make that person angry, or make that person angrey deliberately? Or something else?

  • Avignonais

    Senior Member
    USA, Anglophone
    In my opinion it just means "making someone angry by doing the exact things that enable this anger". In general, I don't detect in the phrase the aspect of doing this deliberately, unless you say "trying to push my buttons"

    For example: "My children were pushing my buttons all weekend".
    The example of angering deliberately would be, "By asking me for that are you trying to push my buttons?"


    Senior Member
    USA, Anglophone
    Come to think of it, even though I make the above distinction, I have heard people use "Are you pushing my buttons?" to mean "Are you deliberately trying to make me mad?". I wouldn't say that, but I have heard it.


    To my knowledge, "pushing someone's button" carries a bit touch of intentionally aggitating someone by doing sth they know he/she can't put up with the most...

    It is almost like a "push and go" device...


    Senior Member
    I think it could mean either intentional or not. He pushes my buttons means he triggers emotions. Sometimes it is implied that it was on purpose and other times it just means that some action triggers you.


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I agree. If something or someone pushes my buttons, it or he succeed in angering, upsetting, or otherwise affecting me. There is no implication that this was done purposefully.


    Senior Member
    English - England