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Long in the tooth

Posted by R. Berg on January 13, 2001

In Reply to: Long in the tooth posted by ESC on January 13, 2001

: : What does "long in the tooth" mean. I alwasy thought it meant ugly.

: "Long in the tooth" means old. It refers to the fact that one can determine a horse's age by looking at its teeth. A horse's gums recede as it ages causing its teeth to look "long."

And it is from this same fact that we get "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Two phrases explained for the price of one!