phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

2 minutes and 40 seconds!

Posted by Bruce Kahl on December 18, 2000

In Reply to: I'll elaborate my question posted by sykim on December 18, 2000

: This is 2nd verse of Jingle bells sung by Jim Reeves.

: Now the ground is white
: So, go it while you're young,
: Take the girls tonight
: And sing this sleighing song;
: Just get a bob-tailed bay
: [two-forty as his speed]
: Hitch him to an open sleigh
: And crack! you'll take the lead.

: In the bracketed wording above, what does two-forty mean? Is it 240 miles for a horse speed?

The reference in the final verse is to a bob-tail bay with two-forty as his speed. A mile in two minutes and forty seconds, especially pulling a sleigh down a country lane, is a brisk speed. This song was written at a time when the average person would have recognized this as a horse from the harness racing world. Racing Standardbreds hitched to cutters (one-horse open sleighs) is still done in some areas for fun.