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Standing tall

Posted by R. Berg on November 26, 2002

In Reply to: Standing tall posted by Bookworm on November 26, 2002

: : : does anyone know meaning of expression "standing tall in the saddle?" Doesn't someone normally sit in the saddle? Thanks Guy Andrews

: : It means having an air of heroic masculine dignity. Yes, people normally sit in the saddle, but they occasionally stand in the stirrups. The expression can be used without "standing": "After reading Western novels all weekend, I felt pretty tall in the saddle myself."

: I've only heard the phrase as "standing tall". Is "in the saddle" the rest of it? Are there other endings?

"Tall in the saddle" is a catchphrase that was used as the title of a 1944 John Wayne movie. I think there are two independent phrases here, "standing tall" and "tall in the saddle." A seated rider can be described as tall in the saddle: he sits up straight and looks brave.