flog a dead horse

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Related to Flogging a Dead Horse: like death warmed up, sticking her oar in

flog a dead horse

To continue to focus on something—especially an issue or topic—that is no longer of any use or relevance. We've all moved on from that problem, so there's no use flogging a dead horse.
See also: dead, flog, horse

flog a dead horse

 and beat a dead horse
Fig. to insist on talking about something that no one is interested in, or that has already been thoroughly discussed. The history teacher lectured us every day about the importance of studying history, until we begged him to stop flogging a dead horse. Jill: I think I'll write the company president another letter asking him to prohibit smoking. Jane: There's no use beating a dead horse, Jill; he's already decided to let people smoke.
See also: dead, flog, horse

flog a dead horse

waste energy on a lost cause or unalterable situation.
1971 Cabinet Maker & Retail Furnisher If this is the case, we are flogging a dead horse in still trying to promote the scheme.
See also: dead, flog, horse

ˌflog a dead ˈhorse

(British English, informal) waste your effort by trying to do something that is no longer possible: Pam’s flogging a dead horse trying to organize the theatre trip. It’s quite obvious that nobody’s interested.
If an animal or a person is flogged, it is/they are hit many times with a whip or a stick, usually as a punishment.
See also: dead, flog, horse

dead horse, to beat/flog a

To pursue a futile goal or belabor a point to no end. That this sort of behavior makes no sense was pointed out by the Roman playwright Plautus in 195 b.c. The analogy certainly seems ludicrous; what coachman or driver would actually take a whip to a dead animal? The figurative meaning has been applied for centuries as well; often it is used in politics, concerning an issue that is of little interest to voters. However, some writers, John Ciardi among them, cite a quite different source for the cliché. In the late eighteenth century, British merchant seamen often were paid in advance, at the time they were hired. Many would spend this sum, called a dead horse, before the ship sailed. They then could draw no more pay until they had worked off the amount of the advance, or until “the dead horse was flogged.”
See also: beat, dead, flog
References in periodicals archive ?
``Sam's an ambitious man, but he will think there is no point flogging a dead horse.'' Hammam has repeatedly outlined his dream of taking City all the way to the Premiership as well as building them a new 30,000 all-seater stadium across the road from Ninian Park.
If your gut instinct is telling you that you're flogging a dead horse, then I'd trust it.
He said: "In the past, at times it felt as though I was flogging a dead horse. Now I feel there is some reward around the corner.
Do you think I'm flogging a dead horse? Coleen says Er, yes I do, because if you know for a fact that he has a drug problem then he has to sort that out before you get involved any further with him.
DAVID Cameron is still insisting on flogging a dead horse by banging on about a Big Society - an idea which guarantees glazed eyes or seething contempt among the British public.
Flogging a dead horse? Nah, we just keep on backing winners...
DAVID Cameron is flogging a dead horse by trying to revive his pet project, the Big Society.
David Cameron will regret his dismissal of questions on the affair as "flogging a dead horse".
Mr Balls said: "This is not, as David Cameron said, flogging a dead horse. This is about the integrity of our politics.
The poll of 3,000 people was carried out by equestrian charity The Brooke, which learned that "flogging a dead horse" was the fifth most common work phrase.
The poll of 3,000 people was carried out by equestrian charity The Brooke, with "flogging a dead horse" ranking as the fifth most common work phrase.
The poll of 3,000 people which was undertaken by equestrian charity The Brooke found that "Flogging a dead horse" was the fifth most reviled office saying.