Teeth

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—

Months
. First set

—5 to 8, the four central inoisors. “7 ” “10 ” lateral incisors.

“12 ” “16 ” anterior molars.

“14 ” “20 ” the eye-teeth.

Years.
Second set

—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, v. 4.

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, iv. 3.

The skin of his teeth.
(See Skin.)

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.

Wolf's tooth.
An amulet worn by children to charm away fear.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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