Posted by Smokey Stover on March 09, 2007
In Reply to: A thoroughbred posted by R. Berg on March 09, 2007
: : : I am a research assistant trying to find out the meaning of this phrase. Can anyone help?
: : : "a thoroughbred from the middle, both ways." Apparently meant as a compliment, but may have been related to horse racing. 1930s?
: : As you already know, all Thoroughbred horses are descended from one (or more) of three horses imported into England in the 17th century. Whether used literally, referring to the breed of horses, or figuratively (well-born or well-bred humans), "both ways" would ordinarily seem to mean "on both sides," that is, with both parents thoroughbreds. But "from the middle" doesn't mean anything to me, and I am stumped.
: : SS
: "From the middle, both ways" sounds as if it meant "through and through," "completely." Start at the middle of something. Go to one end. Return to the middle. Now go to the other end. You've traversed the whole entity. ~rb
I agree that "both ways from the middle" is probably what the doubtful part of the sentence is saying, and that being so I agree with Ms. Berg's explanation. But if that's a saying, I've never heard it, and whether it is or not, how did it get into this context?