tooth jumper

tooth jumper n sAppalachians, Ozarks

One who extracts teeth with a mallet and punch; also vbl n tooth jumping.

1913 Kephart Highlanders 228 sAppalachians, “I have heard of tooth-jumping,” said I, “and reported it to dentists back home, but they laughed at me.” “Well, they needn’t laugh; for it’s so. Some men git to be as experienced at it as tooth-dentists are at pullin’. They cut around the gum, and then put the nail at jest sich an angle, slantin’ downward for an upper tooth, or upwards for a lower one, and hit one lick.” 1931 Randolph Ozarks 39, There are no dentists in the hills, but every country physician is provided with a forceps of sorts, and can extract an aching tooth on occasion. There are also a few of the old-time “tooth-jumpers” who do their work surprisingly well with a specially made punch and mallet. 1949 Webber Backwoods Teacher 209 Ozarks, Her brother Hi had been a tooth-jumper of renown in the old days, being able, it was said, to jump out a tooth in just a second with his punch and mallet. 1961 Seeman In Arms of Mt. 35 eTN, A toothache could have led to an ordeal. Imagine going to a mountain “tooth-jumper,” who was armed with hammer and nail and kept a pair of home-forged pliers handy!