"bone in her teeth"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat May 28 15:24:42 UTC 2011

Not in OED, although perhaps this metaphoric use does not merit
inclusion.  Google Books has the phrase back to 1824, and about 2300
more times, including the ?2003 [Camden, ME: International
Marine/McGraw-Hill, 2001] _Dictionary of Nautical Literacy_, by Robert McKenna.

... off sailed the boat, proudly dashing the foaming waters on either
side of her bow, or in the more expressive language of her crew,
"carrying a white bone in her teeth."

Atlantic Magazine,  Vol. 1 (Sep.1824), p. 349.  In "Paunch Hogabout.
A Moral Tale" [anon.]


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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