a beggar on horseback

a beggar on horseback

Someone who has become unscrupulous or irresponsible because of the sudden acquisition of wealth. The phrase alludes to several related proverbs, such as "give a beggar a horse and he'll ride it to death" and "set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the devil," which suggest that an unexpected windfall is often misused or squandered. I'm not surprised to hear that he's broke again—he always seemed like a beggar on horseback. It was a heartwarming story to hear about the homeless man who found a winning lottery ticket for nearly $2 million. But just a year later, he's back in the headlines for being back on the streets, having squandered all that money on drugs, alcohol, and expensive super cars. Truly, another case of a beggar on horseback. Now that you've received this inheritance, please take care not to become a beggar on horseback.
See also: beggar, horseback, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

beggar on horseback

a formerly poor person made arrogant or corrupt through achieving wealth and luxury.
Compare with the mid 17th-century proverb set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the devil , meaning that a person not used to power will use it unwisely.
See also: beggar, horseback, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
The uninvited guest Free and easy manners Salutary jokes A prodigal son Exit of the glutton A sudden change in fortune Danger of a visit to poor relations Plucking of a prosperous man A vagabond toilet A substitute for the very fine horse Hard travelling The uninvited guest and the patriarchal colt A beggar on horseback A catastrophe Exit of the merry vagabond
QCan you tell me where the saying "Put a beggar on horseback and they will ride to hell" originates from?