Posted by R. Berg on August 30, 2001
In Reply to: Man about a horse posted by ESC on August 29, 2001
: : Does anyone know where the phrase "I need to see a man about a horse" come from?
: TO SEE A MAN ABOUT A DOG (OR HORSE) - "Although in the late nineteenth century, to 'see a man about a dog' meant to visit a woman for sexual purposes, it now means to go to the bathroom. It is, of course, a traditional answer to the questions Where are you going or What's your destination? The variations on these expressions are endless and include: Go see a dog about a horse, go and see a dog about a man, go and shoot a dog, go and feed a dog, go and feed the goldfish, go and mail a letter and go to one's private office." From the "The Wordsworth Book of Euphemism" by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver (Wordsworth Editions, Hertfordshire, 1995).
: And on an old blues recording I have, the performer said he had to "go see a man about a horse" and he meant he was going to go do some drugs. A little play on "horse" for heroin.
Archive 9 has more on "see a man about a dog" at
(or use link below--same thing)