What does the idiom "sweet tooth" mean?

sweet tooth is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression sweet tooth is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "sweet tooth"


The phrase "sweet tooth" is an idiom referring to a person's love of sweet foods, such as candy and desserts. It is used to express someone's enjoyment of these treats, or as a reference to a person's preference for them, as opposed to salty or savory foods.


The phrase "sweet tooth" has been in usage since at least the 16th century and is of unknown origin. The earliest known usage of the phrase is found in the 1598 play "Every Man In His Humour" by William Shakespeare, in which a character says "You have a sweet tooth, Master Brain-worm." The phrase likely comes from the notion of a tooth as a means of tasting, as a tooth can be used to taste both sweet and savory flavors.


The phrase "sweet tooth" is most often used colloquially when referring to someone's preference for sweet foods or desserts. It is typically used to describe a person's predilection for such fare compared to other types of foods, such as salty or savory. It is also used to express enthusiasm for certain sweet treats, such as when someone is looking forward to indulging in a dessert or a sugary snack.

Example Sentences

  • My brother has a real sweet tooth – he loves anything that's sugary!
  • I'm trying to cut down on sweets, but my sweet tooth won't let me.
  • I think it's a family trait – my kids all seem to have a sweet tooth too.

The meanings of the words in the "sweet tooth" idiom

From One Language to Another: Idioms in Translation

Translating idioms from one language to another can be a tricky task, as the cultural context behind an idiom can be difficult to capture. For example, the French phrase "avoir le cafard" translates to "to have the cockroach," which means to feel down or depressed. Similarly, the Chinese idiom "????" (j?ng d? zh? w?) translates to "frog at the bottom of a well," which refers to someone with a narrow view of the world.


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