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Horses Run Rampant Through English

Several phrases have stuck around long after a time when horses were much more common in daily life. They include don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, which is a warning not to expect a gift too closely, and straight from the horse’s...

Go to Grass

Go to grass is In the 1600s, go to grass meant to be knocked down. In the 1800s, the phrase was the equivalent of telling someone to die and go to hell. Go to grass has also been used to refer to a racehorse or working horse that’s been...

Mare in Nightmare

Unless you’re having a bad dream about equine creatures, a nightmare doesn’t have anything to do with horses. The mare in nightmare comes from an old word that means “goblin.” This is part of a complete episode.

Long In The Tooth

If someone’s getting long in the tooth, it means they’re getting old, or too old for their behavior. The metaphor of long teeth comes from horses. If you look at a horse’s teeth and the extent to which their gums have receded, you...

Him and I or Him and Me?

If someone offered you a croaker with an old man’s face, would you accept? You should! Croaker is a slang term for a hundred dollar bill. Did you ever wonder why we turn up the air conditioning to bring the temperature down? Plus, the tricky...

The Bee’s Knees

Let’s put the moose on the table: You have questions, and Grant and Martha have answers. For example, why would someone have an albatross around the neck? And what’s so cool about bees’ knees, anyway? Plus, jockey boxes...

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