That’s no skin off my teeth

Heard this beauty last night during a dinner conversation.  This is a mash up of “no skin off my nose” and “by the skin of our teeth”.  

I had to bite my teeth

This common malaphor (check the hits on google!) is used when someone is wanting to say “I had to bite my tongue” (struggling to not say something you really want to say). My guess is that the speaker is also thinking of “I showed my teeth” (displaying anger) or possibly “sink your teeth into” (become deeply involved).  The latter is probably more likely as the words bite and sink are four letter words and are active verbs.  Also, the tongue and teeth are near each other and so this adds to the confusion.  Finally, teeth bite and tongues don’t so the mind might be trying to correct itself?

Teeth of a model.

Teeth of a model. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He looks down in the tooth

This is a mash-up of “down in the mouth” (gloomy, depressed) and “long in the tooth” (old, past his/her prime).  The confusion here is pretty clear: teeth are in the mouth and the words “down” and “long” are four letter words.  What I can’t recall is whether the speaker was referring to a person who seemed older or more depressed.  Or maybe both as they go hand in hand??