[Ads-l] Horse creature

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Nov 7 17:02:33 UTC 2014

At 11/7/2014 05:20 AM, Michael Quinion wrote:
>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.

And I notice that the relevant sense (1.c) of "horse" is given 
as:  "spec. The adult male of the horse kind".

So even the OED still uses the phrasing, and specifically the word 
"kind", that I had remembered!  (In the OED it presumably means 
"species". Afterall, a seller of a "horse creature" would hardly 
present a zebra, or even a donkey.


>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.

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

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