the orgin of wisdom tooth

Status
Not open for further replies.

keannu

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Korean
Home Country
South Korea
Current Location
South Korea
Do you happen to know the origin of "wisdom tooth"? Is it actually related to wisdom? In Korea, we call it "love tooth", whose origin is probably that if you love somebody, you will get one.

gz131)I had my wisdom tooth pulled out.
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
I don't know this for certain. I am speculating.

The rearmost four of our 32 adult teeth do not usually erupt until we are young adults, at least eighteen.

So I think the idea of having one's wisdom teeth is that one is old enough to have acquired wisdom or at least the rudiments of wisdom. It means to have begun to be an adult.
 

keannu

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Korean
Home Country
South Korea
Current Location
South Korea
Thanks a lot! By the way, I've seen much more "wisdom teeth" than "wisdom tooth" when it refers to a singular one. Is it just idiomatic regardless of singluar or plural or am I mistaken?
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
I think it is almost always used in the plural. A person who said "wisdom tooth" would very likely be talking to a dentist.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top