(as) scarce as hens' teeth

(redirected from as scarce as a hen's tooth)

(as) scarce as hens' teeth

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

Singularly rare. Also put as scarcer than hen’s teeth, this allusion to nonexistent dentition is an Americanism of the nineteenth century. It appeared in James Gilmore’s My Southern Friends (1863): “Horses are scarcer than hen’s teeth around here.”
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