"Look a (gift) horse in the mouth"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 10 22:22:59 UTC 2013

On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 3:31 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> Really?  Doesn't one also look a gift horse in the mouth to determine what it's worth -- its
> age, health?

That's not Larry's point. He's saying that, to him, heretofore, the
quintessential "gift horse" has been the Trojan horse - why is it
called that and not the "*Greek* horse," I've always wondered? - and
there was every reason to have examined that "gift horse" closely
before accepting it and not  that, in his opinion, there's no other
reason to look a gift horse in the mouth.

FWIW, IMO, one of the points of the adage is that you shouldn't expect
to get something for nothing. The gift horse, upon closer inspection,
turns out to be a re-gifted, broke-back mule? Well, what do you expect
for nothing? There's no basis for disappointment. "It's the thought
that counts," to coin a phrase.


"When somebody wants to give you something, take it!"


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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