4 Business Phrases That Make Your Teeth Itch

4 Business Phrases That Make Your Teeth Itch

On September 20th, 1984 the world of sitcoms gave birth to a new series which would go on to entertain humankind for 8 seasons and 196 episodes. The show was   nominated for over 40 awards, including 10 Emmys. It starred Tony Danza, Judith Light and one Alyssa Milano. This little 30 minute gem is of course ‘Who’s The Boss?’.

In one very memorable episode a young Samantha Micelli (played by: Alyssa Milano) was bantering with Jonathan Bowers (played by: Danny Pintauro) and tossed out a line which brought pop culture to a screeching, albeit momentary halt. She told her younger friend to stop whining it was ‘making her teeth itch.’

While it would be silly to debate if her words were anything short of genius, it gives rise to questions.

  • First, Can your teeth really itch?
  • Second, what words or phrases would make them itch?

The first question is simple to answer. Can your teeth itch from a medical standpoint? Click here for the answer.

The second question is the true heart of our discussion – what would make them itch. Well, the phrase ‘makes my teeth itch’ actually means that a person’s speech or actions is annoying you to an extreme and unbearable degree.

What phrases annoy to a level that makes your teeth itch? We’ve previously considered three other sets (4 Business Cliches to Avoid, 4 Business Phrases That Should Be Outlawed & 4 Phrases Salespeople Torture Us With) of such irritating phrases.

Here are 4 more such phrases to make your teeth itch:

(1)  Giving 110%: This phrase annoys many as it’s mathematically impossible to give more than you possess. If you open your wallet and see there’s $100 in it, how likely is it you’re going to be able to hand someone $110? Not likely. Simply give it your all.   

(2)  Out-Of-Pocket: Can you really be in a pocket? This irritating phrase may confuse people with expense accounts, though it’s actually used to mean you’re unavailable. Why not just say so?

(3)  Rightsizing: It’s the politically correct (insert makes my teeth itch) word replacing downsizing or more accurately, someone is about to lose their job. There’s no clean and tidy word or phrase for it.

(4)  Putting Lipstick On A Pig: While the thought of giving a pig a makeover may be intriguing, the reality is it’s a poor phrase to use. It makes our teeth itch because it crudely means we’re making a poor product look better through minor cosmetic changes. Leave the pigs alone!

Well, just as Alyssa Milano survived the horrid event which led to her teeth itching, we too can survive and thrive by educating our peers to use speech that doesn’t affect our dental wellbeing.

In Conclusion: Our Company is rightsizing, so I’m going to be out-of-pocket, giving it 110% by putting lipstick on a pig.


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