set one's teeth on edge, to(redirected from to set one's teeth on edge)
set someone's teeth on edge
1. Fig. [for a scraping sound] to irritate someone's nerves. That noise sets my teeth on edge! Tom's teeth were set on edge by the incessant screaming of the children.
2. Fig. [for a person or an idea] to upset someone very much. Her overbearing manner usually sets my teeth on edge. The very thought of doing that set her teeth on edge.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
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.
set one's teeth on edge, to
To irritate or annoy intensely. This image evokes the intense shuddering feeling that comes from biting on a piece of tinfoil or hearing a fingernail scratch on a chalkboard. It appears in several books of the Bible (Jeremiah 31:29; Ezekiel 18:2) and, graphically, in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 1: “I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn’d, Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree, And that would set my teeth nothing on edge, Nothing so much as mincing poetry.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer