scarce as hen's teeth

(redirected from scarcer than hen's teeth)

*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

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

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 ?
Alistair said: "We thought originally that we would move to a bungalow but they are scarcer than hen's teeth, and expensive.
Just think, if the clearing house ceased, banks would almost certainly cease handling postal orders so that recipients would have to go to the post office and in some areas, after Gordon Brown's reign, these have become scarcer than hen's teeth.
And then on Saturday, Jason Manford is also at the Empire - although I hear tickets are scarcer than hen's teeth.
A few familiar animal phrases include: strong as an ox, sly as a fox, the straw that broke the camel's back, raining cats and dogs, wolfish grin, go at a snail's pace, and scarcer than hen's teeth, Discuss the meaning of these phrases with your students and use them in speech and prose.