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Cut One's Teeth

Posted by R. Berg on January 17, 2003

In Reply to: Cut One's Teeth posted by Shacheendra on January 17, 2003

: Hello, I was just wondering whether any one might know the origin of the term "to cut one's teeth". Thanks in advance for any information.

When a baby's teeth first appear, what is really cut is the gums as the teeth push through them. The Oxford English Dictionary gives "cut" in this sense, with "tooth" or "teeth" as the object, in quotations going back to 1677.