give (one's) eyeteeth for (something)

(redirected from give their eye teeth for)

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. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give one's eyeteeth

(for someone or something) Go to give one's right arm (for someone or something).
See also: eyetooth, give
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.

would give your eye teeth

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If you would give your eye teeth for something or to do something, you would love to have or do that thing. He's the most exciting man I've ever worked with, and I'd give my eye teeth to do something with him again. I'd give my eye teeth for an opportunity to join that company. Note: A person's eye teeth are their canine teeth, the pointed teeth near the front of their mouth.
See also: eye, give, teeth
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

give your eye teeth for

go to any lengths in order to obtain something.
The eye teeth are the two canine teeth in the upper jaw.
1930 W. Somerset Maugham Cakes & Ale He'd give his eye-teeth to have written a book half as good.
See also: eye, for, give, teeth
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

give your eye ˈteeth for something/to do something

(informal) (usually used with would) give anything for something; want something very much: I’d give my eye teeth to own a car like that.He’d give his eye teeth for a job in television.
See also: eye, for, give, something, teeth, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

give one's eyeteeth for, to

To yearn for; to go to any lengths to obtain. The eyeteeth, the upper canines, have been so called since the sixteenth century, presumably because their nerves are quite close to the eyes and a toothache in those teeth is felt as pain in that area. Since they are extremely useful for biting and chewing, giving up one’s eyeteeth entails a considerable sacrifice. However, this hyperbole most likely began life as to give one’s eyes, a greater sacrifice still. Anthony Trollope used it in Barchester Towers (1857): “Bertie would give his eyes to go with you.” Substituting eyeteeth, it is a safe guess, simply made the expression more colorful rather than affecting the underlying meaning in any way. It appeared in W. Somerset Maugham’s Cakes and Ale (1930): “He’d give his eyeteeth to have written a book half as good.” See also cut one's teeth on; give one's right arm.
See also: eyetooth, give, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Mark Jardine of The People's Project said: "This is absolutely massive for Dumfries and every community in the country would give their eye teeth for this accolade."
As for her statement about "assets" other countries would give their eye teeth for, please list them.
Every other region in the UK would give their eye teeth for these investments on their patch and so the use of every possible local asset is needed to maximise the opportunities which will follow as a result.
She might be a television mainstay but when she says "I'm just like you" it has that oh-so-true quality most comics would give their eye teeth for (even if she does have underfloor heating and a reckless attitude towards spreads).
Not only does he boast the kind of good looks most male models would give their eye teeth for, he also has a beautiful personality and to cap it all one of the best tenor voices in the world.
It's a sprawling, misery-inflected Euro-drama which has given Nesbitt and Ken Stott the sort of juicy roles many actors would give their eye teeth for. As the case develops, Tony takes matters into his own hands, and has a violent showdown - with life-altering repercussions.
It's a sprawling, misery-inflected Eurodrama which has given Nesbitt and fellow Hobbit Ken Stott the sort of juicy roles many actors would give their eye teeth for. (Stott certainly doesn't seem to mind soaking up the sun on a luxury yacht for the latest offering).
"There are many who would give their eye teeth for a chance to sit on them."
From a box at a Lakers game (something I'm told many Angelinos would give their eye teeth for) to a back-lot tour of Paramount Studios.
As their Director of News Helen Boaden once remarked: "I imagine there are several poor countries and most of our competitors who would give their eye teeth for guaranteed income on that massive scale."
The sport's bosses would give their eye teeth for a similar outcome this afternoon and bookies believe a tight tussle is more than likely with several firms making it a take-your-pick affair.
He also loses sight of the fact that there is no land for a second school and that children in Ingleby Barwick have the choice of three very good secondary schools within a few miles providing real choice - a choice many parents would give their eye teeth for.
England, who have Andy Goode of Leicester as their current first choice, would give their eye teeth for that lot.