It was like pulling hen’s teeth

An attorney was talking about examining a very reticent client and uttered this beauty.  It is a nice mash up of “as rare (scarce) as hen’s teeth” (incredibly rare or scarce) and “like pulling teeth” (very difficult to extract information from someone).  This conflation is fairly common, based on an internet search.  My favorite comes from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in a Q and A about family worship.  “It’s like pulling hen’s teeth to get them all together at one time, except on the Lord’s days. This is the scourge of our time. Perhaps it has contributed to our times being called “post-Christian.”  The writer cleverly used the phrase to describe not only something that people have difficulty doing but that it was also a rare circumstance.
A shout out to regular contributor Sam Edelmann for hearing this one and passing it along!
Did you like this one?  If so you will enjoy my new book on malaphors, He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors.  Buy it on Amazon at or on Create Space at
hen's teeth

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