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Hold your horses

Posted by ESC on March 06, 2004

In Reply to: Hold your horses posted by ESC on March 06, 2004

: : I know what the phrase means but wonder why it's "horses" rather than "horse." One source suggests a horse racing origin but I am unpersuaded.

: I see it as referring to holding a team of horses that are hitched to a buggy or a wagon.

"HOLD YOUR HORSES - "Take it easy; keep calm; don't do anything rash. It is what one had to do with horses when they began to get nervous or excited; by 1844 it had been extended to people, as in the 'New Orleans Picayune': 'Oh, hold your horses, Squire, There's no use getting' riled, no how.'" From The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

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