rare


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(as) rare as hens' teeth

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

(as) rare as rocking horse crap

vulgar slang Extremely rare or unlikely; all but, or most likely, impossible or non-existent. Primarily heard in Ireland. An honest person in politics? Yeah, that's as rare as rocking horse crap. I'm sorry to say, but the part this engine needs is rare as rocking horse crap. They haven't manufactured these in nearly 50 years!
See also: crap, horse, rare, rocking

(as) rare as rocking horse poo

vulgar slang Extremely rare or unlikely; all but, or most likely, impossible or non-existent. Primarily heard in Ireland. An honest person in politics? Yeah, that's as rare as rocking horse poo. I'm sorry to say, but the part this engine needs is rare as rocking horse poo. They haven't manufactured these in nearly 50 years!
See also: horse, poo, rare, rocking

(as) rare as rocking horse shit

vulgar slang Extremely rare or unlikely; all but, or most likely, impossible or non-existent. Primarily heard in Ireland. An honest person in politics? Yeah, that's as rare as rocking horse shit. I'm sorry to say, but the part this engine needs is rare as rocking horse shit. They haven't manufactured these in nearly 50 years!
See also: horse, rare, rocking, shit

have a rare old time

a fine and enjoyable time at a party or something similar. We had a rare old time at Tom's the other night. I haven't had a rare old time like that in years.
See also: have, old, rare, time

in rare form

 
1. Fig. well prepared for a good performance; at one's best. The goalie is in rare form today; that's his third great save already. We are not exactly in rare form on Monday mornings.
2. Inf. intoxicated. Gert is in rare form, but she'll have time to sleep it off. When Harry was finally in rare form, he slid beneath the table.
See also: form, rare

rare bird, a

An exceptional individual, a unique person, as in That wife of yours is a rare bird; you're lucky to have her. This idiom, generally used as a compliment, is a translation of the Latin rara avis, which itself was used from about 1600 on and began to be translated only in the late 1800s.
See also: rare

a rare bird

LITERARY
If you call someone or something a rare bird, you mean that they are very unusual. Diane Johnson's book is that rare bird, an American novel of manners. Note: `A rare bird' is a translation of the Latin expression `rara avis', which was used by the Roman writer Juvenal in the 2nd century AD to describe a black swan. At the time, black swans were unknown, although they were later discovered in Australia.
See also: bird, rare

rare as hen's teeth

or

scarce as hen's teeth

OLD-FASHIONED
If something is as rare as hen's teeth or as scarce as hen's teeth, it is extremely rare. Record companies are becoming as rare as hen's teeth. Note: Hens do not have teeth.
See also: rare, teeth

rare (or scarce) as hen's teeth

extremely rare.
As hens do not possess teeth, the implication is that something is rare to the point of non-existence. The phrase was originally a US colloquialism, dating from the mid 19th century.
See also: rare, teeth

rare bird

an exceptional person or thing; a rarity.
The English expression is a literal translation of the Latin rara avis .
2005 Apollo Magazine Joseph Southall is that rare bird, an Arts and Crafts painter.
See also: bird, rare

(as) rare/scarce as hen’s ˈteeth

(old-fashioned) extremely rare: Critics always complain that good movies that the whole family can see together are as scarce as hen’s teeth.
This refers to the fact that hens do not have teeth.
See also: rare, scarce, teeth

a rare ˈbird

a person or thing that is unusual, often because they have/it has two very different interests or qualities: Jill is a very rare bird, a good politician and an excellent listener.This expression is a translation of the Latin idiom ‘rara avis’.
See also: bird, rare

in rare form

1. mod. well-tuned for a good performance; at one’s best. We are not exactly in rare form on Monday mornings.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. Gert is in rare form, but she’ll have time to sleep it off.
See also: form, rare

rare bird

n. an unusual person; a person with rare talents or abilities. An interesting kind of rare bird is the man who can take long vacations and still make money.
See also: bird, rare

rare old time

n. a fine and enjoyable time at a party or something similar. (Folksy.) That was a rare old time at Tom’s the other night.
See also: old, rare, time
References in periodicals archive ?
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This transformation of scholarship has validated the role of libraries that collect rare books and, in fact, has reinvigorated the collecting impulses of institutions like the Newberry Library, whose primary function for over a century has been the collecting of original source materials in their original state or in historically significant subsequent emanations prior to our own day.
NYSE: MCP), the Western hemisphere's only producer of rare earth oxides (REO) and the largest REO producer outside of China, today announced that its Board of Directors has elected to declare a cash dividend on outstanding shares of its 5.