When I was a teenager, I dreamed of going to the famous Glastonbury festival in the UK. At this festival, people watch performances by world-class musicians. They party hard and dance late into the night, before sleeping overnight in tents. Then, they wake up, and do it all over again the next day! Unfortunately, I never made it to Glastonbury when I was younger. Nowadays, I’m a bit long in the tooth to camp overnight at a music festival. I might consider ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping) in a yurt. But to be honest, I prefer the creature comforts of a good hotel! How about you?
Check out the video below for more examples of this idiom in use.
Did you know that a horse’s teeth continue to grow all the way through their lives? For this reason, if you measure a horse’s tooth, you can tell how old they are.
So, when we say long in the tooth, we mean old, but old in a negative way, like too old to successfully do something.
Let’s look at a few examples:
- Isn’t that actor a little long in the tooth to be playing a high school student? He’s 37 years old!
- To be honest, Mr. Smith, Michael is getting a little long in the tooth. You should give me the job instead. It needs someone with more energy.
- Thanks for the offer, but we’re a little long in the tooth to be learning how to breakdance, Charlie!
So, there we are: long in the tooth. Try to use this phrase in a sentence of your own in the comments section below. Good luck! See you next time!
Now it’s your turn. Try to respond to the questions below using today’s idiom.
- Do you believe the old saying that you are only as old as you feel? Can you ever be too old to do certain things?
- Did you ever think an actor was a little old to be playing an action hero in the movies?
- Have you ever felt too old to attend a party or an event? What did you say to the host?
Watch more video lessons in our Everyday Idioms series.
Then why not come on over to our Facebook page to join in the conversation and practice what you’ve learned?