From the teeth outwards. Merely talk; without real significance.
“Much of the ... talk about General Gordon lately was only from the
teeth outwards.” —The Daily News, 1886.
To set one's teeth on edge.
(See Edge.) He has cut his eye-teeth. He is “up to
snuff;” he has “his weather-eye open.” The eye-teeth are cut late—
—5 to 8, the four central inoisors. “7 ” “10 ” lateral incisors.
“12 ” “16 ” anterior molars.
“14 ” “20 ” the eye-teeth.
—5 to 6, the anterior molars. “7 ” “8 ” incisors.
“9 ” “10 ” bicuspids.
“11 ” “12 ” eye-teeth.
In spite of his teeth.
In opposition to his settled purpose or resolution. Holinshed tells
us of a Bristol Jew, who suffered a tooth to be drawn daily for seven
days before he would submit to the extortion of King John. (See Jew's Eye.)
“In despite of the teeth of all the rhyme and reason.” —Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor,
To cast into one's teeth.
To utter reproaches.
All his faults observed,
Set in a note-book, learned, and conned by rote,
To cast into my teeth.
Shakespeare: Julius Caesar,
The skin of his teeth.
The people of Ceylon and Malabar used to worship the teeth of
elephants and monkeys. The Siamese once offered to a Portuguese 700,000
ducats to redeem a monkey's tooth.
An amulet worn by children to charm away fear.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894