Careful Words

teeth (n.)

teeth (v.)

  The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.

Old Testament: Ezekiel xviii. 2; (Jeremiah xxxi. 29.)

A drunkard clasp his teeth and not undo 'em,

To suffer wet damnation to run through 'em.

Cyril Tourneur (Circa 1600): The Revenger's Tragedy. Act iii. Sc. 1.

Give lettered pomp to teeth of Time,

So "Bonnie Doon" but tarry;

Blot out the epic's stately rhyme,

But spare his "Highland Mary!"

John G Whittier (1807-892): Lines on Burns.

All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad

Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard;

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): As You Like It. Act ii. Sc. 7.

  I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.

Old Testament: Job xix. 20.

In spite of my teeth.—Middleton: A Trick to catch the Old One, act i. sc. 2. Fielding: Eurydice Hissed.