Scare as Hen’s Teeth

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Something scarce and not found in abundance, a rare thing or non-existent

Etymology:

  • This expression originated in the 19th century in America. Earlier the phrase was expressed as “scarcer than a hen’s tooth” which originated from a chicken pen, where hens are kept. It is noticing that hens do not have true teeth. To grind the food they eat, they have gizzards for that purpose. Since this is a distinct feature of hens that they don’t have teeth that simply suggest it to be a rare thing. Similarly the phrase means to suggest any thing that is nonexistent.
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Today some old species of animals are as scarce as hen’s teeth.

Submitted on February 25, 2019

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to Scare as Hen’s Teeth

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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    "Scare as Hen’s Teeth." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Jan. 2021. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/scare-as-hen’s-teeth_45006>.

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