[Ads-l] Horse creature

Michael Quinion michael.quinion at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Fri Nov 7 10:20:09 UTC 2014

Thanks to everyone who has put forward suggestions. 

Dan Goncharoff's comment about technical distinctions in horse culture and 
Joel Berson's pointer to an old usage of "Horse, Mare or Gelding" prompted 
me to check the OED's entry for "horse" (duh). This confirms that usage by 
noting that "horse" was commonly used to refer specifically to an adult 
male horse. 

So "horse creature" or "horse beast" could have been a generic or formal 
term that encompassed every animal of the horse species. That would 
explain why it frequently occurs in legal records and advertisements. 

Michael Quinion
World Wide Words
Web: http://www.worldwidewords.org

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

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