give (one's) eyeteeth for (something)

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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

(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

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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