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  • A friend of mine in a rock band here in New York recently asked me and another friend

  • to show up at his concert wearing a horse mask. Needless to say, this generated quite

  • a bit of interest. And this got us all thinking about idioms involving a horse. In this American

  • English pronunciation video, we'll go over some of those idioms.

  • Would you believe we came up with almost 20 phrases and idioms that use the word horse,

  • or somehow reference horses. And, I'm sure there are more.

  • >> Get off your high horse. >> Get off your high horse. That's a perfect

  • one. >> Stop horsing around

  • >> These are, you have so many idioms! >> Yeah, I'm cheating.

  • Get off your high horse. To be on a 'high horse' is to have an attitude of arrogance,

  • of self-righteousness. 'Get off your high horse' means, stop being so arrogant. You

  • have a couple options with the T in 'get'. You can either make it a flap T, connecting

  • it to the word 'off', get off, get off. Or, if you're really emphasizing and going to

  • make a pause, you can make it a stop T. Get off. Get off your high horse.

  • Stop horsing around. Horsing around is rough of rowdy play, usually in good fun. My mom

  • often accused my brother and I of horsing around.

  • >> Horse idioms. We have: don't look a gift horse in the mouth...

  • >> ...you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink,

  • >> ...hoofing it.

  • Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. This means, don't be ungrateful or suspicious when

  • someone gives you something. A friend said this to me recently when I was talking about

  • an offer that I got from someone to help me with my business. And I was a little suspicious.

  • He said, "You know, Rachel, don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. This basically means, you can't

  • make people do what they don't want to do. Let's talk a little bit about the pronunciation.

  • You can lead a horse. So the main verb here is the word 'lead'. That means 'can' is a

  • helping verb. So we don't want to say 'can'. We instead want to reduce that word to 'kn',

  • 'kn'. You can lead. You can lead a horse to water. But you can't make it drink. You might

  • hear a CH sound happening between 'but' and 'you', but you, but you. This can happen when

  • the T is followed by the Y consonant, but you, but you. But you can't make it drink.

  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

  • Hoofing it means to be moving really fast, to be running somewhere. For example, I hoofed

  • it to work because I overslept. Note that the double-O here is pronounced as the UH

  • vowel, just like cook, book, and Brooklyn.

  • >> Straight from the horse's mouth. >> Making hay.

  • >> A charlie horse.

  • Straight from the horse's mouth means that you've something from the most authoritative

  • or dependable source. For example: >> Did you hear Jane is quitting her job? >> No way.

  • Where did you hear that? >> From Jane herself. Straight from the horse's mouth.

  • Making hay, or, making hay while the sun shines. This is to make the most of current opportunities.

  • If you put doing something off, you may loose the opportunity to do it. For example, let's

  • make hay and go for a run before it starts raining again.

  • A charlie horse. This phrase is used for muscle cramps in the legs. You might hear this phrase

  • as you watch the Olympics this summer.

  • >> I could eat a horse. >> I'm so hungry I could eat a horse. That's true.

  • >> Did we say don't beat a dead horse? Don't beat a dead horse.

  • I could eat a horse. Well, this means, of course, that you're very very hungry. Notice

  • the T at the end of the word 'eat' links to the next word, a, a schwa sound, so it's a

  • flap T or a light D sound. Eat a, eat a, eat a. I could eat a horse. >> Rachel, are you

  • hungry? >> Yeah, I skipped lunch, so I could eat a horse.

  • Don't beat a dead horse. You might say this to someone who can't let a situation go. If

  • you think someone needs to accept things as they are, and they just keep talking about

  • 'what if?', 'what if?', then you might say: Look, don't beat a dead horse. It's done.

  • >> Don't put the cart before the horse. >> That's a horse of a different color.

  • Don't put the cart before the horse. This means be patient and do things the right way,

  • in the right order. Sometimes it's very tempting to do things out of order and skip ahead.

  • But it doesn't always get the best results. Someone might say to you: do it right, don't

  • put the cart before the horse.

  • A horse of a different color. That is when you bring something up that is unlike that

  • which you are already talking about. For example, to me, writing and spelling are easy. But

  • math, that's a horse of a different color. Meaning, to me, math is very hard.

  • >> Oh, there are so many idioms with 'horse'! >> Hold your horses!

  • >> Hold your horses! >> That's a great one.

  • Hold your horses. That means hold on, be patient, stop what you've just started. It's among

  • the most common of these horse idioms. Notice I'm reducing the word 'your' to 'yer', 'yer'.

  • Hold your horses.

  • >> This is a one-horse town. Put a horse out to pasture.

  • A one-horse town is a small, maybe insignificant town. For example, he's very overwhelmed by

  • the city, he comes from a one-horse town.

  • To put a horse out to pasture. This is when a racing horse is retired, but it can also

  • be used with people, when someone is forced to retire. For example, Larry is past retirement

  • age. I think it's time to put him out to pasture.

  • >> Wild horses couldn't drag him away. >> Oh that's a good one. I use that sometimes.

  • My friend used that once recently.

  • Wild horses couldn't drag him away. This is said when someone is very engrossed in or

  • committed to something. Nothing can persuade him or her to leave or stop doing that thing.

  • For example, >> Are you watching the Mad Men Finale tonight? >> Yes, wild horses couldn't

  • drag me away.

  • >> A dark horse candidate, for example.

  • A dark horse is someone who is more or less unknown who emerges to a place of prominence

  • or importance, usually in a competition. This is used quite a bit to describe a candidate

  • in politics.

  • After doing our idiom research, we went out to dinner, and then made our way home. Although,

  • I can't really recommend riding a bike in the horse mask, because essentially, I could

  • not see a thing out of it.

  • That's it. Thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

  • Don't stop there. Have fun with my real-life English videos. Or get more comfortable with

  • the IPA in this play list. Learn about the online courses I offer, or check out my latest

  • video.

A friend of mine in a rock band here in New York recently asked me and another friend

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B1 horse hay lead mouth pasture drink

Horse Idioms! American English Pronunciation

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    Hhart Budha posted on 2014/06/11
Video vocabulary