Are you ready to find out everything you need to know about the basic idiom “J’ai les dents longues”?
To be clear, it includes a complete definition of what it is and how you can use it in a dialogue with an audio example. As well as the cool informations we added like literal meaning, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!
This idiom used to mean: “To be hungry” which seems logical, but with time it ended up meaning: “To be ambitious“.
Why? Because teeth are a symbol of strength / aggressivity and because “hunger” is an image for ambition. Just like in English we have: “I’m hungry for the power“.
So having “long teeth” represents having a lot of ambition and having a shark mindset: ready to do anything to succeed.
You can use it about yourself “Je ferai de grandes choses, j’ai les dents longues.” (I will achieve big things, I’m ambitious.)
But also about someone else: “Ça ne m’étonne pas, il a les dents longues.” (I’m not surprised, he is ambitious.)
We have an even more extreme expression: “Avoir les dents qui rayent le parquet” which means “To have teeth (so long that they are) scratching the floor“.
That’s a lot of ambition!