Teeth have been given a lot of nicknames over the years. Most are derived from their appearance or function, though some others sound random and without purpose. The nickname that you use, if you use one at all, may be something not at all mentioned here. That’s because some nicknames are specific to a grouping of individuals. A slang word used to describe teeth in one group of friends may not be known to another group. Thus, if the second group were to hear that term they wouldn’t know what it meant. In any event, there are a number of established and well known nicknames for teeth, some of which are listed below.
“Pearly Whites.” Image is an important part of our everyday lives, as humans. Our desire to look nice extends not only to our clothing or hairstyles but also to our teeth. A great smile can be a powerful tool. Those interested in a “perfect smile” will work towards getting their teeth the whitest that they can be. The nickname “pearly whites” is most likely derived from the fact that pearls can also be white – and very beautiful. Having a mouth full of big beautiful pearly white teeth would be favorable to many. Therefore, it makes sense that the nickname “pearly whites” would be given to teeth – or someone with exceptionally good looking teeth.
“Chompers.” This nickname no doubt grew out of a tooth’s function and less on what it looks like. The term literally translates to eating or chewing loudly. It is mainly used to describe how animals like cows or horses eat oats or hay, but can also be a descriptive way to describe how some humans eat. There certainly isn’t anything quiet or calm about chomping. The term suggests a loud or hard chewing process, much like you would find in a pasture. Over the years, the term for what people chomp with…their “chompers”… just stuck. Today, the term is used to describe anyone’s teeth, not necessarily just those who chew/eat loud or wildly.
“Buck Tooth.” Again, we go back to visual cues. Like a rabbit, some unfortunate individuals are born with front teeth that are oversize or positioned in a way that they stick out from the rest. Certain dental procedures can reduce the length or size of these teeth, but often they are not recommended until a patient reaches adulthood. It may be dangerous to perform these, and other, dental procedures during the growing stages of a young person’s life, and are usually postponed. In any event, with these two front teeth protruding, the nickname “buck tooth” has been thrown around. Not always in the kindest of meanings, but popular nonetheless.