set one's teeth on edge

set (one's) teeth on edge

1. To greatly irritate or annoy one, especially to the point of affecting one's nerves. Nothing sets my teeth on edge like seeing these cyclists run every red light in town! I don't know what it is about Terry, but there's something about his demeanor that just sets my teeth on edge.
2. To cause one to be upset, nervous, or uncomfortable. Please don't tell me about your surgery, it sets my teeth on edge hearing about medical procedures.
See also: edge, on, set, teeth

set one's teeth on edge

Irritate, annoy, make one cringe, as in That raucous laugh sets my teeth on edge. This expression alludes to the shuddering feeling evoked by a grating noise or similar irritation. It appears in several books of the Bible and was also used by Shakespeare. [c. 1600]
See also: edge, on, set, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
But after a while, the regimented way in which the cables were distributed became oppressive, and their fineness started to set one's teeth on edge, as if they were made from glinting piano wire.