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The tooth fairy

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 08, 2005

In Reply to: The tooth fairy posted by Sharon M. on October 08, 2005

: I came across a certain expression while watching "Doctors" on BBC, when one woman tells another that she won't "cough up a pound to the tooth fairy". I would like to know if this phrase is current in English or if it is specific to the situation portrayed in the chapter I viewed? I didn't find any mention of this expression during my search on the net and will be grateful for your assistance if possible.

I assume the expression bothering you is "tooth fairy," not "pound" or "cough up." So you must be of the English persuasion. In the U.S., since some time LONG after my childhood in the last millennium, it became customary to reward children who had lost one of their baby teeth with a quarter (that is, $0.25) if they would leave the tooth under their pillow. Mom would substitute the quarter for the tooth, and say that the tooth fairy had been there. I personally have never seen this done, so someone else may have better information. Are English mothers that generous with the tooth fairy? A pound seems an awful lot. SS