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Sunday, 3 June 2007

Phrase of the Day 94: 'long in the tooth'

"to be long in the tooth"


definition: to be getting old.

(už ne nejmladší, postarší)

example: "Daddy needs a new Porsche. The old one is getting a bit long in the tooth."

origin: Strange as it may seem this phrase's origin is closely related to the origin of the phrase "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".

The age of a horse can be roughly determined by examining its teeth, since a horse's gums recede as they age. The longer the teeth of a horse appear to be, the older the horse.

This expression comes from veterinary medicine - some animals have teeth that continue to grow much like fingernails. For example rabbits and rats need to gnaw hard objects to wear down their growing teeth.

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