"Eye and Teeth" or "Eye Teeth"
jzoll
I have heard both of these used in the same way: "XX would give his eye teeth to be here today". The meaning is self-explanatory, but which usage came first? Which is correct?
AdSumADS
An eyetooth is a first, upper biscupid, a "fang" (an [upper] canine). The expression, as I know it, is that one would give his eyeteeth in exchange for something (thus incurring a great cost, as with "an arm and a leg"). I'm not sure about any variants with the expression. I would imagine that "eye and tooth" or even just the schism into two words, "eye tooth" (with or without a hyphen?), is derivative.

Webster's lists "eyetooth" as originating around 1545. I would venture that "eye and tooth" might actually be a back formation to match "arm and leg" due to the similarity in expressive use and relative obscurity, in modern times, of the term, "eyetooth," in other contexts, but I hadn't encountered these variations.

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