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to get a kick in the teeth


Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) someone treats you like you are not there

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b) someone treats you unfairly

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If something is ‘a kick in the teeth’, it means that you have been treated unfairly or badly by someone, especially at a time that you needed them most.

French translation

prendre un coup bas, un sacré coup, un coup terrible

How NOT to translate : *prendre un coup de pied dans les dents

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Examples in context

NHS pay proposal criticised by health unions

‘The Department of Health said the increase was unaffordable alongside the current system which sees many staff automatically receive incremental annual rises. It has urged the NHS pay review body to withhold the rise for 1.3m staff."To take it away, to break that promise, is just another kick in the teeth." Staff representatives have also reacted angrily to the plans.’

BBC News, 5 October 2013

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‘Newspaper review : Papers angry about rail fare rises’

News that regulated rail fares in England are set to rise by more than 4% on average next January is greeted with dismay in many of the papers. The Daily Express calls it "a kick in the teeth for workers".

BBC News, 14 June 2013

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Everyday usage

It is such a kick in the teeth that I didn’t get that promotion after all that extra work I did.

I cannot believe she treated me like that. It’s such a kick in the teeth !

c) someone welcomes you positively

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