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Fit as a horse

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 25, 2005

In Reply to: Fit as a horse posted by David FG on June 25, 2005

: : Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "fit as a horse"?

: I am not familiar with the phrase, but I would imagine it is fairly straightforward. A horse is a fairly fit animal (certainly one required to work or race must be.)


I've never heard "fit as a horse", but "strong as a horse" is commonplace in the UK. In the north of England you'll sometimes hear "fit as a butcher's dog"; the implication that a butcher's dog would get plenty of meat. This is an old phrase, obviously, dating from a time when many working-class people couldn't afford to feed a dog properly. Nowadays if pet dogs are unfit it's usually because they are fed too much, not too little.

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