pull teeth

pull teeth

1. To do something that is especially difficult, tedious, or requires an extreme amount of effort; to do something in the most difficult or unpleasant way possible. With this new way of preparing vegetables, you'll no longer have to pull teeth to get your kids to eat their greens! I've been pulling teeth trying to get my family members organized for this get together, but I think it will all be worth it!
2. To make someone or something less powerful, potent, or effective. A noun or pronoun is used between "pull" and "teeth." The watchdog did a great job keeping predatory loan sharks in check, but the new policy really pulled the agency's teeth. Corporate lobbyists are trying to pull the new law's teeth to give them greater leeway in the market.
See also: pull, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
"Investigators shouldnt have to pull teeth" to get the truth," the judge said, but "not all the issues rise to the level of actual false statements."
But the team at Otago University, New Zealand, said the habits can cause tummy bugs and pull teeth forward.
Alternatively, you can go classic with Alternatively, you can go classic with traditional metal train tracks which are tightened over time to pull teeth gradually into place.
There is the nougat which many viewers might assume to be a sweet-toothed favourite, until discovering it was once acutally used to pull teeth! There's also a truffle hunt, plus the duo are inducted into the Ancient Order of the Cassoulet.
Now the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is trying to persuade blacktail hunters to actually pull teeth from deer they harvest.
Hairdressers in Bridge Street, Sunderland, used "mechanical hairbrushes" while Bradford & Co dentists, who were on Newcastle's Bridge Street, promised not to "pull teeth with flat-irons, strings and pincers ".
Does the dentist pull teeth only of a certain number, like all odd or all even?
A DENTIST who finds it painful to pull teeth after a high-seas collision is demanding pounds 21,000 in compensation.
Fest programmers should give this odd duck a gander, but Yanks may have to pull teeth to get the director to accompany his pic: Green bad mouths America as a hopeless cultural backwater.
Arch wire applies force to pull teeth to their proper positions.
"They charge fifty bucks to pull teeth, and Kenny needs most of his taken out," says the senior Stewart, who receives $850 a month in social security and wages as a part-time security guard.
At times it looked like both sides might need to pull teeth just to reach double-digit scoring.
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