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set one's teeth on edge

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Something that one finds intensely irritating may be said to “set one's teeth on edge”: “The mayor's sexist remark set my teeth on edge.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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