Top 25 Slang For Scarce – Meaning & Usage

When something is hard to come by or in short supply, it’s often described using specific slang that captures its scarcity. Curious to learn how people express this concept in everyday language? Join us as we unveil a list of the top slang terms for scarce items or situations. Stay ahead of the curve and expand your linguistic repertoire with this insightful compilation!

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1. Rare as hen’s teeth

This phrase is used to describe something that is extremely rare or hard to find.

  • For example, “Opportunities like this are rare as hen’s teeth.”
  • A collector might say, “Vintage items in good condition are rare as hen’s teeth.”
  • Someone might comment, “Good friends who are always there for you are rare as hen’s teeth.”

2. Hard to come by

This phrase is used to describe something that is difficult to find or obtain.

  • For instance, “Quality antique furniture is hard to come by.”
  • A person might say, “Fresh produce in this area is hard to come by.”
  • Someone might comment, “Affordable housing in the city is hard to come by.”

3. Few and far between

This phrase is used to describe something that is not happening or appearing frequently.

  • For example, “Job opportunities in this field are few and far between.”
  • A person might say, “Quality movies these days are few and far between.”
  • Someone might comment, “Good restaurants in this area are few and far between.”

4. Thin on the ground

This phrase is used to describe something that is scarce or not readily available.

  • For instance, “Job prospects are thin on the ground for recent graduates.”
  • A person might say, “Supportive friends during tough times can be thin on the ground.”
  • Someone might comment, “Affordable housing options in this city are thin on the ground.”

5. Like gold dust

This phrase is used to describe something that is very rare or hard to find.

  • For example, “Tickets to the concert are like gold dust.”
  • A person might say, “Opportunities like this come around like gold dust.”
  • Someone might comment, “Finding true love can feel like gold dust.”

6. Scarcer than hen’s teeth

This phrase is used to describe something that is extremely scarce or hard to find, similar to the rarity of hen’s teeth. It emphasizes the rarity or scarcity of an item or situation.

  • For example, “Vintage comic books from the 1930s are scarcer than hen’s teeth.”
  • A collector might say, “Original copies of this vinyl record are scarcer than hen’s teeth.”
  • In a discussion about limited edition sneakers, someone might comment, “Those shoes are scarcer than hen’s teeth; good luck finding a pair.”

7. Scarce as hens’ teeth

This phrase is similar to “scarcer than hen’s teeth” and is used to describe something that is extremely rare or hard to find. It emphasizes the scarcity or rarity of an item or situation.

  • For instance, “Opportunities like this are as scarce as hens’ teeth.”
  • A person discussing a rare species of bird might say, “These birds are as scarce as hens’ teeth; they’re almost impossible to spot.”
  • In a conversation about a limited edition item, someone might comment, “Those collectibles are as scarce as hens’ teeth; they sell out within minutes.”

8. In short supply

This phrase is used to describe something that is not readily available or is in limited quantity. It suggests that the item or resource is scarce and may be difficult to obtain.

  • For example, “During the pandemic, toilet paper was in short supply.”
  • A person discussing a popular toy might say, “Every holiday season, this toy is in short supply and sells out quickly.”
  • In a conversation about a limited edition sneaker release, someone might comment, “Those shoes are in short supply; you have to be quick to grab a pair.”

9. Hard to find

This phrase is used to describe something that is difficult to locate or find. It implies that the item or resource is scarce and may require significant effort to obtain.

  • For instance, “Vintage records from this artist are hard to find.”
  • A person discussing a rare book might say, “First editions of this book are hard to find.”
  • In a conversation about a discontinued product, someone might comment, “Those items are hard to find now; they’re no longer being produced.”

10. Few as hens’ teeth

This phrase is used to describe something that is very rare or scarce, similar to the rarity of hens’ teeth. It emphasizes the scarcity or rarity of an item or situation.

  • For example, “Opportunities like this are as few as hens’ teeth.”
  • A person discussing a limited edition artwork might say, “Prints of this artwork are as few as hens’ teeth.”
  • In a conversation about a highly sought-after collectible, someone might comment, “Those items are as few as hens’ teeth; they’re rarely available for sale.”

11. Not easy to find

This phrase is used to describe something that is challenging to find or obtain. It implies that the item or resource is not readily available or accessible.

  • For example, “Finding a parking spot in this crowded city is not easy to find.”
  • A person might say, “Quality vintage clothing in good condition is not easy to find.”
  • Another example could be, “Affordable housing in this neighborhood is not easy to find.”

12. As rare as rocking horse droppings

This expression is used to emphasize that something is incredibly rare or hard to come by. It is a humorous and exaggerated way to describe scarcity.

  • For instance, “Winning the lottery is as rare as rocking horse droppings.”
  • A person might say, “Finding a genuine Picasso painting for sale is as rare as rocking horse droppings.”
  • Another example could be, “Getting a table at that exclusive restaurant is as rare as rocking horse droppings.”

13. Hardly any

This phrase is used to indicate a very small or limited quantity of something. It suggests that there is a scarcity or lack of the item or resource.

  • For example, “There were hardly any seats left in the theater.”
  • A person might say, “There’s hardly any food left in the fridge.”
  • Another example could be, “There were hardly any tickets available for the concert.”

14. Not plentiful

This phrase is used to describe something that is not abundant or readily available. It implies that the item or resource is scarce and there is a limited quantity.

  • For instance, “Fresh produce during the winter months is not plentiful.”
  • A person might say, “Job opportunities in this industry are not plentiful.”
  • Another example could be, “Affordable housing in this area is not plentiful.”

15. As scarce as rocking horse manure

This expression is used to emphasize that something is extremely scarce or hard to find. It is a humorous and exaggerated way to describe scarcity.

  • For example, “Finding a genuine diamond in the rough is as scarce as rocking horse manure.”
  • A person might say, “Getting a front-row seat at that concert is as scarce as rocking horse manure.”
  • Another example could be, “Finding a parking spot in this crowded city is as scarce as rocking horse manure.”

16. In low quantities

This phrase is used to describe something that is not easily found or available in large amounts.

  • For example, “During the pandemic, hand sanitizers were in low quantities and difficult to find.”
  • A person might say, “Fresh produce is often in low quantities during the winter months.”
  • In a discussion about rare books, someone might mention, “First edition copies of that book are in low quantities and highly sought after.”

17. Limited in number

This phrase is used to describe something that is not available in large numbers or amounts.

  • For instance, “The concert tickets are limited in number, so make sure to get them early.”
  • In a discussion about collectibles, someone might say, “That action figure is limited in number, making it highly valuable.”
  • A person might mention, “The company only produced a limited number of these shoes, making them exclusive.”

18. In short quantity

This phrase is used to describe something that is not available in large quantities.

  • For example, “The restaurant ran out of ingredients, so certain dishes are in short quantity.”
  • A person might say, “During a natural disaster, essential supplies can be in short quantity.”
  • In a discussion about limited edition merchandise, someone might mention, “The product was only released in short quantity, making it highly coveted.”

19. Like finding a needle in a haystack

This phrase is used to describe something that is very hard to locate or discover.

  • For instance, “Trying to find a specific book in that messy bookstore is like finding a needle in a haystack.”
  • A person might say, “Finding true love in a big city can feel like finding a needle in a haystack.”
  • In a discussion about hidden treasures, someone might mention, “Unearthing valuable artifacts in an old attic is like finding a needle in a haystack.”

20. As rare as a unicorn

This phrase is used to describe something that is exceptionally rare or hard to come by.

  • For example, “Finding a genuine Picasso painting at a yard sale is as rare as a unicorn.”
  • A person might say, “Seeing a shooting star is as rare as a unicorn.”
  • In a discussion about mythical creatures, someone might mention, “The legendary phoenix is as rare as a unicorn, said to rise from its own ashes.”

21. Rare as a blue moon

This phrase is used to describe something that is very rare or hard to find. It emphasizes the rarity of the object or situation being discussed.

  • For example, “Finding a unicorn in the wild is as rare as a blue moon.”
  • A person might say, “Opportunities like this come around as rare as a blue moon.”
  • Another might comment, “Good luck finding a parking spot in this neighborhood. They’re as rare as a blue moon.”

22. As scarce as diamonds

This phrase compares the scarcity of something to the rarity of diamonds. It conveys the idea that the object or situation being described is highly uncommon or difficult to come across.

  • For instance, “Honest politicians are as scarce as diamonds.”
  • A person might say, “Finding true love can sometimes feel as scarce as diamonds.”
  • Another might comment, “In this economy, job opportunities are as scarce as diamonds.”

23. In short numbers

This phrase is used to describe something that is not readily available or is present only in small quantities. It suggests that the object or situation being discussed is scarce or hard to come by.

  • For example, “Fresh produce is in short numbers during the winter months.”
  • A person might say, “Tickets for the concert are selling fast and will soon be in short numbers.”
  • Another might comment, “Opportunities like this come by in short numbers, so make sure to take advantage.”

24. Few in number

This phrase describes something that is present in a small quantity or is limited in number. It implies that the object or situation being discussed is scarce or not easily found.

  • For instance, “Endangered species are becoming few in number.”
  • A person might say, “Qualified candidates for the job are few in number.”
  • Another might comment, “With the pandemic, customers at the store have become few in number.”

25. Like looking for a lost treasure

This phrase compares the difficulty of finding something to the search for a lost treasure. It suggests that the object or situation being described is scarce and requires great effort or luck to come across.

  • For example, “Finding affordable housing in the city is like looking for a lost treasure.”
  • A person might say, “The perfect gift for my mom is like looking for a lost treasure.”
  • Another might comment, “In this vast ocean, finding a specific fish can be like looking for a lost treasure.”
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