teething troubles

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A reference to teething (the eruption, through the gums, of the milk teeth) and the accompanying discomfort, which occur during early life.



teething troubles pl (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) Problems that are to be expected with any new and untried product, system, or venture.
    Synonyms: teething issues, teething problems
    • 1941 October, “Novel Armed Freighter Adopted by Navy”, in T. Orchard Lisle, editor, The Log, volume 36, number 13, San Francisco, Calif.: Miller Freeman, Inc., OCLC 30746570, page 58, column 1:
      No doubt the new form of drive will have its teething troubles and this may be expected; but even if each ship manages to unload one cargo where it is badly needed and then it is beached, mechanical troubles will be comparatively unimportant provided all the crew are safe.
    • 1961 October 16, R. Emerick, “Mr. R. Emerick, Mr. S. Clegg, Mr. T. Warburton, on Behalf of the Amalgamated Society of Lithographic Printers”, in Royal Commission on the Press: Minutes of Oral Evidence [] (Cmnd. 1812), volume II (Witnesses: Trades Unions and Associations, []), London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, published September 1962, OCLC 1015674316, paragraph 9041, page 25:
      But we think that, for something which is so new, it is far better and easier for them to recoup if it is only a 16,000 run. If it is up in the millions it is a bigger problem, and it is far better to get your teething troubles out of the way on a smaller one.
    • 1961 November, “Talking of Trains: Diesel performance improving”, in Trains Illustrated, page 642:
      He admitted that in their early days these units suffered a number of teething troubles, which, he said, "one may now look back upon with some wonder", as their causes were not hard to find.
    • 2015, Paula Lichtarowicz, “The Nice New Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Ape-ish Folk”, in Creative Truths in Provincial Policing, paperback edition, London: Windmill Books, Penguin Random House, →ISBN, page 293:
      They have survived four nights in the forest, and after a few teething troubles they are getting on surprisingly well.
    • 2015, Liz Vincent, chapter 14, in Meddling Mother Madge + Dutiful Daughter Alice = Malice, Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire: Matador, →ISBN, page 135:
      He was on his way to Cleveland, Ohio to visit the steelworks there, review their working practices and sort out any problems. He knew there would be some, they had recently installed a new casting system that he had helped to develop, and the plant back home had experienced some teething troubles.


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