don't look a gift horse in the mouth

don't look a gift horse in the mouth

If you receive a gift, do so graciously, without voicing criticisms. The saying is attributed to St. Jerome and refers to the practice of looking at a horse's teeth to determine its age. 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: "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, OK? You're so lucky to get a car for free!"
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth

don't look a gift horse in the mouth

or

never look a gift horse in the mouth

If you say don't look a gift horse in the mouth or never look a gift horse in the mouth, you mean that you should accept something that is offered to you, or take advantage of an opportunity, and not try to find faults or difficulties. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth — it may be the opportunity you've been waiting for. Never look a gift horse in the mouth or you may regret it. Note: This expression refers to the fact that you can judge the age of a horse by looking at its teeth.
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth

don't look a gift horse in the mouth

Accept a gift in good faith. This saying, which dates from St. Jerome’s biblical commentary (ca. a.d. 420) on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, is based on the fact that a horse’s age is revealed by its teeth. Looking inside a horse’s mouth therefore will tell you if someone is passing off an old nag for a spry colt. The same expression is found in French, Italian, Portuguese, and other languages.
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth
References in periodicals archive ?
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth A YOUNG horse is worth more than an old one and examining a horse's teeth is the best way to assess its age.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. You're a great city with a fantastic heritage.
A HORSE LAUGH is not polite, and DON'T LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH (be critical of a gift).
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. View home-schooled students--and the many national and state home-school associations--as an excellent potential source of interesting, diverse, and talented applicants.
You don't look a gift horse in the mouth and we're very grateful.
Animal-based sayings also featured heavily, including "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" and "no flies on me".
Full browser ?