cut (one's) teeth

(redirected from cut their teeth)

cut (one's) teeth

To gain experience with something, especially at a young age (when one's teeth would be coming in). Oh, I cut my teeth on those kinds of equations! Give me a challenging problem for a change! Jen may be young, but she cut her teeth at a prestigious journal, so her perspective and expertise will be invaluable to us.
See also: cut, teeth
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cut teeth

[for a baby or young person] to have new teeth emerging through the gums. Billy is cranky because he's cutting teeth. Ann cut her first tooth this week.
See also: cut, teeth
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cut your teeth

COMMON If you cut your teeth doing something, you get your first experience of it and learn how to do it. He plans to cut his teeth on demanding theatre parts before making the break for TV and film. He cut his teeth in the sixties as director of Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre. Note: This expression can be varied by adding an adjective before teeth to show what sort of experience was gained. He had cut his editorial teeth on the London Evening Standard. Note: When a child cuts a tooth, the tooth begins to appear through the gum.
See also: cut, teeth
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

cut your teeth

acquire initial practice or experience of a particular sphere of activity or with a particular organization.
The form cut your eye teeth is also found. The image is that of the emergence of a baby's teeth from its gums.
See also: cut, teeth
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
I hope little George--Lashmar, he will be too, won't he?--will live to see his grandchildren cut their teeth on his mug.
Voodoo is the only bar in town exclusively dedicated to rock and as such has acted as a HQ for a great deal of people - and indeed bands, many of whom have cut their teeth on the stage upstairs.
Lots of the country's top performers cut their teeth bringing William Shakespeare's works to life.
MANY top trainers cut their teeth on the flaps, but I didn't realise Bryan Turner, who had Story Time in last night's Nottingham Produce Stakes final, was a former Bolton Derby winner.
The Beatles had previously cut their teeth at the Coventry Matrix Hall and Nuneaton's Co-op Hall the year before, starting a special relationship with the city.
ASHES legend Bob Massie has urged rookies to cut their teeth in the Scottish game - because it's the perfect platform for Test stardom.
But for fans who cut their teeth on Sharp, Sheedy and Psycho Pat it is the link with Le Coq Sportif which will have even greater nostalgic resonance.
Representing a new generation of scholarship (1), Childers seeks a "more complex and politically revealing relationship between gender and the state." (3) Fathers, Families, and the State in France, 1914-1945 adopts a disposition of cultural analysis not easily dismissed by social historians who cut their teeth on statistical distributions or thick description.
Soon after, freshmen Republican senators like Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who had cut their teeth in the House, began importing Gingrich's tactics to their new home.
Budding politicians in Northumberland are to get an opportunity to cut their teeth, Big Brother-style, after nominations for the county's first ever Young Leader were launched.
Many actors known mainly through their work in television, first cut their teeth on Live's stages and enjoy an ongoing creative relationship with the company.
"Now I understand that she's really just saying 'clean the toilet,' not asking for a divorce." They've also had to adjust to the hills and valleys of freelance life after the Broadway roles (and regular paychecks) they cut their teeth on.
"I know that if I get the chance then I will be fit enough and quick enough for it." Lyons has proved the sensation of the season in Japan's Formula Nippon Grand Prix feeder series, where both former Jordan drivers Eddie Irvine and Ralph Firman cut their teeth against top-class international competition before moving into F1.
Kids who cut their teeth on BellyWashers and Cool Topz are set up to ruin those teeth on a lifetime of soft drinks and other sweets.
The story begins at Zenith Corporation, where Reynosa's machine shop owners and their employees cut their teeth. Zenith came to Reynosa in the mid-1970s, seeking like many multinationals corporations cheap labor and duty-free imports for assembly and re-export to the United States.