phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

To see a man about...

Posted by ESC on August 01, 2000

In Reply to: Man about a horse. posted by Zachary T. Lehman on July 31, 2000

: I frequently hear the phrase, "I have to go see a man about a horse" in what seems to be reference to using the bathroom... If someone could shed some light on this abstract phrase, I'd appreciate it.

: Thanks!

: Zachary T. Lehman
: [email protected]

TO SEE A MAN ABOUT A DOG (OR HORSE) - "Although in the late nineteenth century, to 'see a man about a dog' meant to visit a woman for sexual purposes, it now means to go to the bathroom. It is, of course, a traditional answer to the questions Where are you going or What's your destination? The variations on these expressions are endless and include: Go see a dog about a horse, go and see a dog about a man, go and shoot a dog, go and feed a dog, go and feed the goldfish, go and mail a letter and go to one's private office." From the "The Wordsworth Book of Euphemism" by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver (Wordsworth Editions, Hertfordshire, 1995)