In this episode, The Teacher introduces you to three idiomatic phrases connected with horses.
1. To eat like a horse
2. Straight from the horse’s mouth
3. To flog a dead horse
Hello, I’m a very interesting and intelligent man.
And this is Fred, who, as you may have noticed, is a horse. Today Fred and I are going to be helping you to improve your English.
I bet you’ve never been taught by a horse before.
Hungry, isn’t he? In fact, he eats all the time. He eats like a horse – of course he does – he is a horse.
In English, if someone eats a lot we can say ‘he eats like a horse’.
To eat like a horse. To eat a lot.
[Neighing and other horsy noises.]
What’s that you say Fred? Ah, just that silly noise horses make.
Anyway, I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.
We use this idiom when we’ve got some information directly from the person responsible for it. For example: my boss is going to fire me. Yes, it’s true. I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.
It means my boss told me directly. I didn’t hear it from anyone else.
Sad news, I’m afraid… Fred’s died.
Which means there’s no point in trying to get him work any more.
How do we make a horse work? Yes, that’s right, by hitting it, or as we say, ‘flogging it’.
Our next horse idiom: ‘to flog a dead horse’. Which as you can see is completely pointless.
‘To flog a dead horse’. This means to waste effort on something that we have no chance of succeeding at.
I sometimes feel like I’m flogging a dead horse when I’m teaching. My students, they never seem to learn… I don’t quite understand what the problem is…..very frustrating…
More BBC Idioms
- BBC Colour idioms – Blue
- BBC Animal idioms – Bird
- BBC sport idioms – Balls
- BBC Animal idioms – Insect
- BBC Animal idioms – Cat
- BBC Transport idioms – Miles
- BBC Animal idioms – Bee
- BBC Colour idioms – Red
- BBC Animal idioms – Horse
- BBC Idioms – Halloween: idioms of fear
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