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What is an Idiom?
People use idioms all the time, often without even realising it. In fact there are said to be some 15,000 idioms used in the English language.
An idiom is a turn of phrase that can often be incomprehensible to a person who is not familiar with the language. An idiom can also be decribed as a phrase or an expression that cannot be taken literally.
When you use an idiom in everyday language, then it has a different meaning than the basic meaning or definition of the words as found in a dictionary.
An example of this might be "a piece of cake." If taken literally, then you might think that you are being offered a piece of cake to eat. However, this phrase, or idiom is often used by someone to say that a task will be easy to accomplish.
Horse Idioms numbers 1 to 3
1. Wild Horses Wouldn't Drag Me Away.
Meaning that you will stick with something you have started.
An example would be: "I was determined to finish the race, wild horses couldn't have dragged me away".
Some believe this to have originated from the medieval torture of using horses to stretch prisoners in an attempt to force a confession, although this is sometimes disputed.
2. Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth.
A way of saying that someone is ungrateful. To receive a gift, not be thankful and treat the person giving the gift badly.
3. A Nod is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse.
A way of saying that you cannot get some people to take a hint if they are determined not to.
Horse Idioms - BBC Learning video
Horse Idioms Numbers 4 to 6
4. A Trojan Horse.
Describes something or someone who attacks the group it or they belong to.
The origin of this idiom has is beginnings in the story of the ancient Greek army besieging the city of Troy. The Greeks built a huge hollow wooden horse and left it for the Trojans who took it as a gift inside their city walls. However, Greek soldiers where hiding inside the horse and once inside the city walls they were able to destroy the city.
5. To Get off One's High Horse.
A way of saying that a person should be more humble or agreeable.
Horse Idiom Number 6
"Every Horse Thinks it's Own Pack the Heaviest."
A way of saying that everyone believes that their own work is the hardest.
Horse Idioms Number 7 to 10
7. Horse of a Different Color.
A way of saying that something is different than what you thought would happen.
8. Horse Sense.
A way of saying that a person has common sense.
9 To Hold One's Horses.
A way of saying that you should slow down. Not take things quite so fast.
10. Horse Play.
A way of saying that someone is playing in a rough or rowdy manner.
Horses having fun on a hot day - YouTube video
Horse Idioms Numbers 11 to 14
11. Put the Cart before the Horse.
A way of saying that a person is doing things in the wrong order or sequence.
12. A Stalking Horse.
Something that is used to mask or hide someone's true purpose.
13. Don't Spare the Horses.
A way of telling someone to hurry.
14. A One Horse Town
A way of describing a town that it small and unremarkable, dull or boring.
Horse Idioms Numbers 15 to 18
15. A Dark Horse.
This describes someone who unexpectedly wins a race or competition. It can also describe someone with an unexpected talent for something.
16. A Hobby Horse.
A way of describing someone who talks incessantly, or constantly complains about a subject, issue or topic.
17. Enough to choke a horse.
A way of saying that something is a huge or excessive amount.
18. A Horse Doctor
A derogatory phrase. an example would be: "That horse doctor says that there is nothing wrong with me. What does he know".
Horse Idiom numbers 19 to 22
19. Horse and Buggy.
A way of saying that something is old fashioned or out of date.
An example would be: "That way of working went out with the horse and buggy".
20. Horse Opera.
A way of describing something that is formulaic. Usually referring to a film or stage show .
21. If Wishes Were Horses.
A way of saying how nice or easy it would be if one could easily have what they wanted, then life would be easy.
22. Horse Hockey
A way of saying that something is nonsense.
An example would be: "I have heard enough of your horse hockey".