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]


Nearby words

  1. scaramouch,
  2. scaramouche,
  3. scarborough,
  4. scarborough lily,
  5. scarce,
  6. scarcely,
  7. scarcely ever,
  8. scarcement,
  9. scarcity,
  10. scare

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.