gift horse


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a gift horse

A present, often one that is flawed or unwanted. Often used in the saying "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" (and similar variations), which is attributed to St. Jerome and refers to the practice of looking at a horse's teeth to determine its age. "Gift horse" may also be related to the Trojan Horse (a deceptive gift from the Greeks to the Trojans that allowed Greek soldiers access to Troy). I know Aunt Jean isn't your favorite person, but she gave you that beautiful sweater as a present, so don't look a gift horse in the mouth! A: "But I don't want this ancient car!" B: "Never look a gift horse in the mouth, OK? You're so lucky to get a car for free!"
See also: gift, horse

gift horse

Something obtained at no charge, but not without an ultimate cost. According to legend, it was Odysseus who devised the scheme of leaving a huge wooden horse in front of the gates of Troy, which the Greeks were unable to conquer (the losing side of a war traditionally left a gift for the victors). The Trojans watched the Greeks depart then dragged the horse inside their walls. Soldiers who had been hiding inside the horse surreptitiously opened the gates, the Greeks stole back inside the gates, and the rest is history. The cautionary expression “beware Greeks bearing gift” is based on the legend, as is the phrase “gift horse.” Stated another way, there ain't no free lunch
See also: gift, horse
References in periodicals archive ?
CORAL: 7-1 Indian Trail, Knot In Wood, 10-1 Borderlescott, Fullandby, 12-1 Fonthill Road, 14-1 Fantasy Believer, Utmost Respect, Zomerlust, 16-1 Beaver Patrol, Genki, Gift Horse, King's Apostle, Orpsie Boy, Pearly Way, 20-1 bar.
Gift Horse (9-2 ) was one of five runners for sprint king Dandy Nicholls who also sadddled the fourth Merlin's Dancer and the unplaced favourite Lafi.
When energy, utilities, commodities and real estate are leading the market, it is usually not a good sign for equities in general, but there is no reason to eschew the gift horse.
The type that looked a gift horse in the mouth or who didn't believe in a free lunch.
Among the best horses bred by Theakston Stud in recent years are dual Listed winner Prince Fasliyev, Grade 2-winning chaser Bellator and Stewards' Cup scorer Gift Horse.
Equine dancing isn't everyone's cup of tea but when there are medals on offer, why look a gift horse in the mouth?
Motors chairman Alan Bartlam said: "If we do stay up, you won't see us looking a gift horse in the mouth.
With a general election looming up sometime in the spring, can the Tories not see a gift horse when it is staring them in the face?
This is plainly a cynical piece of electioneering but don't look a gift horse in the mouth, even if it is our money that has paid for the gift.
Whitchurch Road has become a real bustling area of the city and with shops like Maskrey's not far away, The Gift Horse Gallery is certainly in a good position.
Dear Editor, - Well, as usual, Birmingham city council have allowed a gift horse to pass them by.
Football can't afford to look a gift horse in the mouth and the Russian and his money have made Chelsea a force in English football.
To carp about whether he should have got more is to look a gift horse squarely in the mouth.
An archaeologist looked a gift horse in the mouth and walked away with the first solid evidence that humans domesticated and rode horses about 6,000 years ago, much earlier than estimated by many researchers in the United States and Europe.
In one of the most unlikely plots ever, Kim decides to look this particular gift horse in the mouth.