"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" and other popular
shouldn't I look a gift horse in the mouth?
When buying a horse it was essential to check its age and
health by examining the lower jaw, and in particular its
teeth. Provided of course you knew what to look for this
was a sure fire way of checking up on the horse's history.
When you received a horse as a gift, however, it was regarded
as the height of bad manners to examine its teeth as it
suggested you thought you were being given something worthless.
Nobody wants to give a gratuitous insult. Hence the advice
to accept the horse in good grace. In some cases old knackered
horses may have been passed on to new owners as gifts but
it was customary not to question the giver's good faith.The
phrase seems to have originated in England circa AD 1500.
Note: Nobody knows whether Tony Blair examined the teeth
when a horse was given to his daughter as a gift, or for
that matter Secretary General Kofi Annan or John Major when
the President of Turkmenistan gave them both fabulous spirited
horses from his country - see stories on page 2. Jackie
Ashley, however, commenting on Tony Blair's speech at the
2004 Labour Party conference thought the gift horse the
Prime Minister gave to the party in respect of pensions
and other matters needed its dentures very carefully examined."The
unions that count have decided to stick with Blair. Should
we trust him?. It is,as Tony Blair admits, the critical
question now. That he has lost trust over the war in Iraq
couldn't look a gift horse in the mouth - Flood-Hit
Angler at Bewdley on the banks of the River Severn
One resident, David Harrell an International Angler, waiting
for the River Severn to recede at Bewdley, decided he couldn't
look a gift horse in the mouth, got out his fishing line
and cast it into the flood waters from the convenience of
his own balcony. The report from Birmingham doesn't say
whether he had any luck or not.
from the horses mouth - what does this saying mean?
In former times, anyone betting on a horse would try to
get a look at the horse's teeth. I don't think with the
degree of security at races these days anyone would attempt
that now. But, the mouth would be a good place to start
your assessment of a horse's condition and age. This phrase
has therefore come to mean the' absolute truth' and not
a load of spin.This phrase is of fairly recent origin and
started to be heard in about 1830, though not in common
parlance until horse racing became very popular in the 1920's.
The author P.G.Wodehouse is credited with this sentence:
"The prospect of getting the true facts - straight, as it
were - from the horse's mouth - held him fascinated"
Trojan Gift Horse. The Greeks making siege to Troy are
about to throw in the towel. Everything they have done to
penetrate the massive walls is to no avail. Odysseus however
comes up with a ploy to 'sell' the Trojans a horse as a
gift, a large wooden horse large enough to hold a band of
soldiers inside its belly. The Greeks - Achaens - pretend
to sail away having burnt their camps but have only gone
round the headland out of sight of the Trojans. Odysseus
has however left a 'plant', a soldier called Sinon under
the ramparts with the instructions 'get yourself taken prisoner'
by the Trojans. He procedes to tell the Trojans that the
Greeks have incurred the wrath of Athena for stealing the
Palladium and have left the horse as a gift to ameliorate
her fury. The Trojans fall for this spin and haul the huge
wooden horse inside the gates of the town. Odysseus and
his band slip out of the horse, kill the guards, and open
the gates of Troy letting in the Greek army.Everybody is
killed except a small group led by Aeneas who escapes.
story gave rise to another famous saying: Beware of Greeks
bearing gifts !
What is the lesson to be learned from the Trojan's experience?
"So, by Zeus, that third lesson from Troy is the paramount
need to listen to skeptical voices. Virgil suggests that
the Trojans rashly brought the wooden horse inside their
city despite the alarm of two early pundits — Cassandra
and Laocoon, who warned against Greeks bearing gifts. If
the Trojans had just thought it over for a week, by which
time the Greeks inside would have died of thirst, then the
Trojan War might have ended differently (and we could all
be speaking Luvian, the ancient language possibly spoken
by Trojans). But the Trojans dismissed the warnings as "windy
nonsense" and sealed their fate. We Americans are the Greeks
of our day, and as we now go to war, we should appreciate
not only the beauty of the tale, but also the warnings within
it" - Snipsnap, the easy weblog.
phrase 'Trojan Horse' in latter day parlance means: a threat
disguised as a gift. A computer 'Trojan Horse' is a case
AMHA Select a Gift Horse
Century Glass, Pottery, Collectibles
Gift Horse - Equine Related Gifts
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