give one's eyeteeth

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give (one's) eyeteeth

To go to any length or relinquish anything of value in order to have or be able to do something. Almost always used after the modal verb "would." Oh, I would give my eyeteeth to be able to write like you! You mother has always said she would give her eyeteeth for your beautiful curly hair.
See also: eyetooth, give

give (one's) eyeteeth for (something)

To go to any length or relinquish anything of value in order to obtain some specific thing in return. Almost always used after the modal verb "would." Oh, I would give my eyeteeth for curly hair like yours. She said she'd give her eyeteeth for a chance to meet the singer in person.
See also: eyetooth, for, give
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give one's eyeteeth

Also, give one's right arm. Go to any lengths to obtain, as in She'd give her eyeteeth for a mink coat, or He'd give his right arm for a new car. These hyperbolic expressions both allude to something precious, the eyeteeth (or canines) being useful for both biting and chewing and the right arm a virtual necessity for the 90 percent of the population who are right-handed. Both date from the first half of the 1900s, when the first replaced give one's eyes, from the mid-1800s.
See also: eyetooth, give
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
I knew, as I sat on the leather couches, I would be the envy of tens of thousands of young girls who adore her work and who would give their eyeteeth to be in my place.
My own field, biological anthropology, cut its eyeteeth providing scientific validity for the oppression of non-Nordics.
Just remember: our foremothers would have given their eyeteeth for such choice'.
During the past 10 years we have seen a whole new wood industry -- particleboard -- cut its eyeteeth and grow into healthy manhood.
I'd cheerfully give my eyeteeth for a Sunfire Theater Grand II, but no one is interested in barter.
Since she has been holding her chador in place with her teeth, as Persian women shoppers customarily do when they have both hands full, she breaks one of her eyeteeth in the fall.
That is why some people hate us and most people fear and distrust us -- even, often enough, the very people who'd give their eyeteeth to come live here and share our comforts.
.Any city the size of Sarasota or larger would give their eyeteeth to have a facility like this, even if it were just for rentals alone.
I cut my eyeteeth trapping furbearers and predators and at times, when fur prices were high, I made a pretty good living at trapping coyotes.
This is the sort of thing that used to happen with the hippie capitalists Ben & Jerry, masters of media manipulation whose japes and pranks invariably generated journalistic attention that larger, more profitable companies would have given their eyeteeth to receive (if, in fact, they had any eyeteeth).
His six-year arrangement, which includes distribution through Germany's Senator for 36 pictures and in Japan via Toho-Towa and Pony Canyon for 15 pics, gives Roth development capital, gross from source and guaranteed distribution slots from Columbia Pictures -- deal points that many producers would sell their eyeteeth to achieve.