change horses in midstream(redirected from changes horses in midstream)
change horses in midstream
1. To choose a new leader during a period of upheaval or uncertainty. The prime minister has been at the helm throughout the crisis. I just don't think we should change horses in midstream.
2. To make major changes to a situation or course of action that is already underway. We're about to close on the house, and my husband suddenly wants to change horses in midstream and look at another property!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
change horses in midstreamand change horses in the middle of the stream
Fig. to make major changes in an activity that has already begun; to choose someone or something else after it is too late. (Alludes to someone trying to move from one horse to another while crossing a stream.) I'm already baking a cherry pie. I can't bake an apple pie. It's too late to change horses in the middle of the stream. The house is half-built. It's too late to hire a different architect. You can't change horses in midstream. Jane: I've written a rough draft of my research paper, but the topic doesn't interest me as much as I thought. Maybe I ought to pick a different one. Jill: Don't change horses in midstream.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
change horses in midstreamor
switch horses in midstream
If someone changes horses in midstream or switches horses in midstream, they stop using one method or thing and start using another one, or they stop supporting one person and start supporting someone else. I think we were very wise not to change horses in midstream. Note: You can also just say that someone changes horses or switches horses. Andersson is angered at the way Taylor initially supported the deal, only to switch horses later and back the opposing bid. Note: These expressions are often used to advise someone against doing one of these things. Note: The American President Abraham Lincoln used this expression in 1864, `I am reminded of the story of an old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion that it was best not to swap horses when crossing streams.'
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
change/swap horses in midˈstreamchange to a different or new activity while you are in the middle of something else; change from supporting one person or thing to another: ‘I don’t believe in changing horses in midstream,’ he said. ‘Give this policy a chance before you think of changing it.’
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017