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"No Skin Off My Teeth" Topic


19 Posts

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6,288 hits since 4 Jun 2008
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KennKong Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 6:10 a.m. PST

I've been having a friendly discussion with my wife regarding the idiomatic expression: "No skin off my teeth."

While I'm aware of the expression "No skin off my nose"; however, this "teeth" derivation (which to my mind indicates a level of concern on a quantum scale far below the skin of my nose….) has my wife believing I've made it up.

I've found it on other slang sites, so I think I've alleviated her suspicion that I fabricated it, but I wanted to query the learned folks at this site, since this site always has a tremendous level of both enthusiasm and knowledge, as to whether or not they've even heard this expression, use it, or any other opinion on it they might feel free to offer (well….almost any other opinion…:)

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2008 6:19 a.m. PST

I can't say I'd ever heard this one before before I googled for it just now.

No skin off my nose – yes.
By the skin of my teeth – yes.

No skin off my teeth – no.

Maybe it is some garbled mixture of the two?

Photonred Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 6:29 a.m. PST

Mixing metaphors?

Personal logo Ron W DuBray Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2008 6:30 a.m. PST

By the skin of my teeth yes. (a close call)

No skin off my nose yes. (it does not cost me anything, so it does not matter)

No skin off my teeth no. ( this is wrong, I think you mixed up your sayings a bit)

KennKong Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 6:45 a.m. PST

I think it's a mixed metaphor (and given my 'roots' I'd say it might come from the South in the US), but I didn't do the mixing, at least not originally.

At least two other sites I found did log it as an indication of 'it doesn't matter' or 'it couldn't concern me any less'. This is how I've always used it.

But I do believe it's origins have to be a mixed version of "By the skin of one's teeth" and "no skin off my nose".

One site I found it on, one lady noted her "Southern" grandfather used to say it "all the time."

Thanks for the assistance on this; I appreciate it!

pphalen Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 7:01 a.m. PST

I've never heard it.
I've heard another derivation, regarding, "bells" that is less than family friendly…

La Long Carabine Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 7:03 a.m. PST

I am from the South, sir, and I too have hear the expression. No skin off my teeth saying so. I view it as yet another act of Northern Aggression against the peace loving gun toting peoples of the South. Mint Julep anyone?

LLC aka Ron

KennKong Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 8:16 a.m. PST

Thanks, La Long Carabine!!!!

Damn Yankees! (well, truth be told, I'm a Damn Yankee….but my mamma an' her kin weren't).

The Tin Dictator04 Jun 2008 8:28 a.m. PST

Your argument is neither here nor there, I see it as six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Personal logo RavenscraftCybernetics Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2008 9:08 a.m. PST

I think you'll find it was my great great grandfather who taught that expression to the above mentioned southern grandmother who used it "all the time".
I appologize.

Some other name Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 9:14 a.m. PST

And what about the expression, "there's more than one way to skin a cat"?

I guess the expressions of "there are seventy-two ways of removing the spleen from an otter", "There are more than a dozen ways to adjust the spine of a bullfrog" and "Countless are the ways to dull the quills of a hedgehog" never caught on.

Personal logo Streitax Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2008 10:04 a.m. PST

Well, Grenadier, let's start a movement then. Elaborate Metaphors for Every Man. Em 'n Em.

KennKong Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 12:14 p.m. PST

Oooo, I like "Countless ways to dull the quills of a hedgehog."

I will interject it immediately and often, as the conversation warrants!

the Gorb Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 7:28 p.m. PST

It's like "no skin off my nose" but more so as there is no skin on teeth in the first place.

So instead of just meaning "no problem" it is more like "I could care less".

We use it in our family along other sayings like "cut your nose off to spite your face", "pulling hen's teeth" and "It's time for all dogs to be dead, do you feel sick?"

Regards, the Gorb

highlandcatfrog Inactive Member04 Jun 2008 9:31 p.m. PST

I first heard it as a young child. My grandfather used "No skin off my teeth" all the time, and he was a true Down Under Yankee, born and raised in Maine.

Of course, he also used "Monongahela" as a swear word when women were present.

Personal logo StarfuryXL5 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2008 9:29 a.m. PST

It's like "no skin off my nose" but more so as there is no skin on teeth in the first place.

So instead of just meaning "no problem" it is more like "I could care less".

So what you're saying is that "I do care somewhat, even if only a little" (since I could care less than I already do).

(religious bigot) Inactive Member05 Jun 2008 11:00 p.m. PST

Unless you're saying it in a sneery sarcastic way, of course.

KennKong Inactive Member06 Jun 2008 11:38 a.m. PST

the Gorb: Funny – I often misuse 'cut off my nose DESPITE my face' purposely to infuriate those who use that metaphor correctly!!! I suggest using it at your next family gathering.


Thanks to all who weighed in on this one, I'm glad to know I'm not completely wacko in regards to this particular phrase.

I know I'd find solace here!

Personal logo Texas Grognard Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2008 2:05 p.m. PST

"Thanks, La Long Carabine!!!!

Damn Yankees! (well, truth be told, I'm a Damn Yankee….but my mamma an' her kin weren't)."

You know to a Cajun a Yankee is anyone born north of Baton Rouge. Okay ducking now. evil grin

Bruce the Texas Grognard

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