Open your mouth
Long in the tooth
What do these 'tooth' phrases mean?
1 to have a sweet tooth
a. to have a toothache
b. to enjoy eating sweet things
2 to go through something with a fine-tooth comb
a. to go through something very thoroughly
b. to look at something very quickly
3 to be a bit long in the tooth
a. to be very young
b. to be old
4 to fight tooth and nail
a. to be very bad-tempered
b. to try very hard to get something you want
5 to have a tooth out
a. to have a tooth removed
b. to have a tooth filled
A kick in the teeth
Can you match these phrases with their meanings?
1 to get your teeth into something
2 to do something by the skin of your teeth
3 to take the bit between your teeth
4 to grind your teeth
5 to give someone a kick in the teeth
a. to only just succeed in doing something
b. to ask someone to do something for you
c. to make a noise by rubbing your teeth together
d. to tell someone a big lie
e. to do what you have decided to do with a lot of enthusiasm
f. to laugh loudly
g. to do something really bad to someone
h. to begin to do something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm
My teeth are on edge!
You overhear these bits of conversation on a bus. What is the second person saying?
1 - How are you getting on at work?
- I'm fed up to the back teeth.
a. I'm really happy and pleased.
b. I can't stand it any longer.
2- Why have you broken up with your boyfriend?
- Because he's been lying through his back teeth since the day we met.
a. he's been telling a lot of terrible lies.
b. he's been spending too much money.
3 - Have you persuaded your dad to stop smoking yet?
- No. It's like pulling teeth.
a. It's almost impossible to do
b. It's been very easy to do.
4 - Do you like Susan Boyle's album?
- I don't. Her voice sets my teeth on edge.
a. makes me smile
b. annoys me very much
5 - What should I do about telling Tom I've lost my job?
- Grit your teeth and get on with it!
a. Accept that it's difficult to do but do it immediately.
b. Put off doing it for a bit more time.
A missing tooth
Complete these sentences with the correct choice of word or phrase.
1 The boss went through my application form with a (sweet tooth / fine-tooth comb).
2 I will (have a tooth out / fight tooth and nail) to get promotion.
3 Did you know that you (take the bit between your teeth / grind your teeth) when you're asleep?
4 Trying to get Robert to stop eating so much chocolate is like (pulling teeth / being fed up to the back teeth).
5 Whenever Oliver starts to complain, it (sets my teeth on edge / makes me lie through my back teeth).
6 What you did last week gave me (a kick in the teeth / a bit between my teeth).