I would like to know more about the idiom "like pulling teeth". For example, does anyone know its origin and first usage?
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The earliest quotation of the phrase like pulling teeth in the OED is 19th century:
I found an earlier example from 1831 published in the Foreign Missionary Register of The American Baptist Missionary Magazine (Vol. 12, October 1832, No. 10), in the 23rd October 1831 entry of Mr. Judson's Journal:
The verb pull has been used to mean extract (a tooth) since at least the 17th century: