Advertisements

I got by by the squeak of my teeth

This is a congruent conflation of “by the skin of my teeth” and “squeaked by”, both meaning just barely.   My teeth seem to squeak when I rub my fingers over them, particularly after a good dental cleaning, so I can see where the speaker might be confused.  The phrase “squeaky clean” used to describe clean teeth (and other things) also comes to mind.  All in all, I think this malaphor is an improvement over the idioms noted above, don’t you?  A big squeaky clean thank you to Beverly Rollins Sheingorn VanDerhei (now there’s a mouthful!) for sending this one in!

Advertisements

2 Comments on “I got by by the squeak of my teeth”

  1. Doobster418 says:

    This is a funny example of a mixed metaphor, but I wonder how the phrase “by the skin of my teeth” came about, since teeth don’t have skin.

  2. davemalaphor says:

    Doobster, Skin of my teeth is a phrase from the Bible. In Job 19:20, the King James Version of the Bible says, “My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.” In the Geneva Bible, the phrase is rendered as “I haue escaped with the skinne of my tethe.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s