This expression is a less direct means to describe older people, or maybe animals, fairly than points or places.

You are watching: Where does the phrase long in the tooth come from

Origin the Long in the Tooth

This idiom started to appear in writing in the an initial half that the 1800s. Many sources point out horses as the incentive for this saying, because it is feasible to understand the period of a steed by assessing its teeth.

Despite the reality that horses’ teeth have the right to wear under over time, the idea is that the longer the tooth is, the larger the equine is. Therefore, this idiom is used to explain aged individuals.

Examples the Long in the Tooth

Here is an instance of a mathematics professor and her student using the idiom.

Student: oh no. This is the worst.

Teacher: Why? those the matter?

Student: You wouldn’t understand.

Teacher: I could surprise you. If you desire to talk around it, I’m below to listen.

Student: i am having troubles with friends. Sorry, however you’re a tiny too long in the tooth to recognize the situation.

Teacher: first of all, the is offensive to speak that. 2nd of all, with period comes wisdom. Just shot me.

In this example, 2 friends are mentioning a 3rd friend’s new boyfriend.

Monica: Did friend hear that Rebecca has a new boyfriend?

Janice: Yeah. Yet I don’t know anything around him. Ns don’t also know his name. Every that i heard was the he’s super old.

Monica: Come on, Janice. Be nice!

Janice: What? the true, isn’t it?

Monica: Well, to be honest, that is a small long in the tooth.

Janice: that’s what i’m saying. And also that’s no necessarily a poor thing. She not very mature herself, so possibly he will be a good influence top top her.

More Examples

In this excerpt, the idiom explains an athlete that is tho young by many standards however is old because that a professional athlete.

In our second excerpt, the idiom defines an actor who was too old because that a part in a James shortcut movie.

See more: How Many Feet Is 63 Inches? 63 Inches To Feet Conversion Calculator


The expression long in the tooth is another, less direct, way to explain someone that is older.


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