scarce

(redirected from scarceness)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

be as scarce as hen's teeth

To be incredibly rare; to be extremely difficult or impossible to find. Support for the president is as scarce as hens' teeth in this part of the country.
See also: scarce, teeth

Good men are scarce.

 and A good man is hard to find.
Prov. Men who make good husbands or workers are rare. Larry is the best employee I've ever had, and I'll go to a good deal of effort to keep him, because good men are scarce. "I think you should marry John," Sue advised her daughter. "He's a good man, and a good man is hard to find."
See also: good, men, scarce

make oneself scarce

Fig. [for someone] to become difficult to find; [for someone to] go into hiding. Tom is mad and is looking for you. Better make yourself scarce. Make yourself scarce! Here comes the sheriff.
See also: make, scarce

*scarce as hen's teeth

 and scarcer than hen's teeth
Cliché scarce; seldom found. (*Also: as ~.) I do declare, decent people are as scarce as hen's teeth in these chaotic times. Handmade lace is scarcer than hen's teeth; most lace is made by machine.
See also: scarce, teeth

be as scarce as hen's teeth

  (American & Australian)
to be very difficult or impossible to find It was the President's inauguration and hotel rooms in Washington were as scarce as hen's teeth.
See also: scarce, teeth

make yourself scarce

  (informal)
to leave, especially in order to avoid trouble I think you'd better make yourself scarce - at least until I've had a chance to talk to your father.
See also: make, scarce

make oneself scarce

Depart quickly, go away, as in The children saw Mrs. Frost coming and made themselves scarce. This idiom applies scarce in the sense of "seldom seen" to removing one's presence. [c. 1800]
See also: make, scarce

scarce as hen's teeth

Also, scarcer than hen's teeth. Exceptionally rare, as in On a rainy night, taxis are as scarce as hen's teeth. Since hens have no teeth, this term in effect says that something is so scarce as to be nonexistent. [Mid-1800s]
See also: scarce, teeth

make oneself scarce

tv. to leave; to be in a place less frequently; to be less in evidence. Here come the boys in blue. I’d better make myself scarce.
See also: make, scarce

make (oneself) scarce

Informal
1. To stay away; be absent or elusive.
2. To depart, especially quickly or furtively; abscond.
See also: make, scarce

scarce as hen's teeth

Nonexistent. Hens have no teeth, so what could possibly be scarcer? (Stones in their gizzards act as teeth to grind their food).
See also: scarce, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
Data scarceness can also be faced during the prediction of human errors and acts of negligence in installation and the use of sprinklers and other fire safety systems.
When the colonists arrived, they, too, were sustained by maple syrup due to the scarceness of white sugar.
Industry consolidation and scarceness of rich gas lands have caused a decrease in the total number of wells drilled.
Despite PBDEs' relative scarceness today, evidence that the chemicals are accumulating in people and the environment raise concerns, given PBDEs' potential for health effects, says Thomas A.
Another indication of the scarceness of females in high ranking IT positions is the composition of membership in the Society for Information Management (SIM), an organization of senior IT executives, Of SIM's 2,700 members only 195 were women (Wilde, 1997).
With regard to field work, educators traditionally have perceived a general scarceness "of educational opportunities available outside tertiary care hospitals, specifically in community-based and primary care settings" (Caroff & Maiick, 1985, p.
The opportunity costs increase with the domestic scarceness of the migrant's skill.
Experienced, professional shoplifters know how to take advantage of the decrease in customer traffic and the scarceness of store personnel.
Alternating long, left-justified lines with short lines hitched to an axis at the middle of the page, the poems inhabit a cycle that seems accommodating of endless and shifting interpretations: plenty and scarceness, will and surrender, ambition and exhaustion, the tension between "openness" and "shape" that Vendler identified long ago as the "central theme" of Graham's poetics.
The Loona grave is outstanding for its rich find material, in contrast with the general scarceness of finds in the graves of that period; the same can be said about the graves of Joelahtme (Lang 2007a, 59, 99).