scarce


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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

be as scarce as hen's teeth

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

(as) scarce as hens' teeth

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

make (oneself) scarce

To leave, hide, or make oneself less visible, typically to avoid something. Lisa's fuming about your text message, so you better make yourself scarce until she calms down. Why is it that when there are chores to do, the kids somehow know to make themselves scarce?
See also: make, scarce

Good men are scarce.

 and A good man is hard to find.
Prov. Men who make good husbands or workers are rare. Larry is the best employee I've ever had, and I'll go to a good deal of effort to keep him, because good men are scarce. "I think you should marry John," Sue advised her daughter. "He's a good man, and a good man is hard to find."
See also: good, men, scarce

make oneself scarce

Fig. [for someone] to become difficult to find; [for someone to] go into hiding. Tom is mad and is looking for you. Better make yourself scarce. Make yourself scarce! Here comes the sheriff.
See also: make, scarce

*scarce as hen's teeth

 and scarcer than hen's teeth
Cliché scarce; seldom found. (*Also: as ~.) I do declare, decent people are as scarce as hen's teeth in these chaotic times. Handmade lace is scarcer than hen's teeth; most lace is made by machine.
See also: scarce, teeth

make oneself scarce

Depart quickly, go away, as in The children saw Mrs. Frost coming and made themselves scarce. This idiom applies scarce in the sense of "seldom seen" to removing one's presence. [c. 1800]
See also: make, scarce

scarce as hen's teeth

Also, scarcer than hen's teeth. Exceptionally rare, as in On a rainy night, taxis are as scarce as hen's teeth. Since hens have no teeth, this term in effect says that something is so scarce as to be nonexistent. [Mid-1800s]
See also: scarce, teeth

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

make yourself scarce

surreptitiously disappear; keep out of the way. informal
See also: make, scarce

(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

ˌmake yourself ˈscarce

(informal) leave the place you are in in order to avoid an embarrassing or difficult situation: I could see they wanted to be alone, so I made myself scarce.
See also: make, scarce

make oneself scarce

tv. to leave; to be in a place less frequently; to be less in evidence. Here come the boys in blue. I’d better make myself scarce.
See also: make, scarce

make (oneself) scarce

Informal
1. To stay away; be absent or elusive.
2. To depart, especially quickly or furtively; abscond.
See also: make, scarce

scarce as hen's teeth

Nonexistent. Hens have no teeth, so what could possibly be scarcer? (Stones in their gizzards act as teeth to grind their food).
See also: scarce, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
Regional cooperation on environmental security can help defuse conflicts and their impact on scarce resources.
How can policy-makers fairly allocate relatively scarce medical resources in cases such as these?
However, cooperation rather than control is needed to get the best use of scarce water supply.
The researchers found that the bacteria only resort to cannibalism as an act of survival when food sources are scarce.
However, due to the historically savage reputation of the islands' inhabitants, outsiders were scarce for millennia.
Typically, reasonably priced land is scarce after a boom economy, and that's what we are finding in northern New Jersey.
Productivity of scarce resources is the top priority of nations and business enterprises.
Used widely in countries where wood resources are scarce, wheat straw is also valued for its beneficial effects on the optical and strength properties of paper.
Is water becoming a scarce resource internationally?
How did Mantle get such a scarce resource and get it so quickly?
These criteria are based not only on the scientific merits of the procedure but also on frequently ill-defined notions of the most appropriate allocation of a scarce resource, which in turn is determined by supply and demand at individual transplant centers.
Former Governor of South Australia Kevin Scarce will be appointed to head the Royal Commission which will consider what role our State can potentially play in the fuel cycle for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Double act Sparks and Scarce - aka Rena Sparks and Jermaine "Jay" Scarce - will fill the air with sounds of R&B, hip hop and garage music when they take to the stage on the second day of the two-day festival this weekend, which is sponsored by the Birmingham Mail.
Officials speculate that the bear was looking for food because natural sources of food are scarce this year.