kick somebody in the teeth

kick (one) in the teeth

1. To criticize, exploit, insult, or fail to help someone who is in a trusting or vulnerable position. Can Jeff's employee review wait until next week? His girlfriend just left him, and I don't want to kick him in the teeth. After telling us we'd lost our Christmas bonuses, the company kicked us in the teeth by saying we'd be expected to work every day over winter except for Christmas itself.
2. To give or issue someone a humiliating disappointment or setback. Losing to our cross-town rivals because of such a terrible call by the ref really kicked us in the teeth.
See also: kick, teeth

kick somebody in the ˈteeth

(informal) treat somebody badly or fail to give them help when they need it: The workers feel they’ve been kicked in the teeth by their employers. They have met all their orders this year but are still being made redundant. ▶ a kick in the ˈteeth noun: I expected to get that job. It was a real kick in the teeth when I didn’t.
See also: kick, somebody, teeth