"Look a (gift) horse in the mouth"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Mar 11 14:44:44 UTC 2013

Interesting.  As some say about an early appearance of a word, if
it's used without explanation it probably has been used earlier.

Here Homer simply mentions the horse when Menelaus praises Ulysses,
as though everybody reading him, just like everybody in Menelaus's
time, would already know the fuller story of the horse.


At 3/11/2013 01:10 AM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
>On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 12:40 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com> wrote:
> > WB:  Larry would be searching a long time for a reference to the Trojan
> > Horse in Homer.
> >
>Not that long. Try Book IV of the Odyssey:
>Then Menelaus said, "All that you have been saying, my dear wife, is true.
>I have travelled much, and have had much to do with heroes, but I have
>never seen such another man as Ulysses. What endurance too, and what
>courage he displayed within the wooden horse, wherein all the bravest of
>the Argives were lying in wait to bring death and destruction upon the
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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