One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Concrete obstacles pointing upwards from the ground in rows, used against tanks in the Second World War.
- ‘Chairman Paul Melhuish said: ‘We looked at the possibility of fitting dragon's teeth or a barrier that horses and pedestrians could easily step over but would prevent other traffic from using it.’’
- ‘When I was told to attack the Siegfried Line, I was given a 1: 100K map and three aerial photos of the pillboxes and dragon's teeth complex in my assigned sector and told to be ready at 4 A.M. but not to move until ordered.’
sow (or plant) dragon's teeth
informal Take action that is intended to prevent trouble, but which actually brings it about.
- ‘He comments that while the biologists are ‘interested primarily in truth as such… they can hardly be quite uninterested in what will happen when they throw down their dragon's teeth into the world.’’
- ‘He told them that they should yoke two of his fire-breathing bulls and sow dragon's teeth into the ground.’
- ‘Beyond nuclear weapons and missiles, North Korea is busy sowing other dragon's teeth with friends.’
- ‘And while it is currently less gory than the one perpetrated by suicide bombers, it is sowing dragon's teeth for the future.’
- ‘Punishing families and blowing up houses will only sow dragon's teeth.’
- ‘The Treaty of Versailles sowed dragon's teeth, generations of enmity.’
- ‘The protection money paid by the family and the support for the catechism of hate that has been a fundamental part of the polity for 50 years is yielding a harvest for those who sewed the dragon's teeth.’
With allusion to the teeth of the dragon killed by Cadmus.
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