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 ?
Gift Horse has not visited the winner's enclosure since his Stewards' Cup victory of 2005 but faces by far his easiest task since that triumph in the NGK Spark Plugs Handicap.
Gift Horse has not visited the winner's enclosure since his Stewards' Cup victory of 2005, but faces by far his easiest task since that triumph in the NGK Spark Plugs Handicap at Newmarket.
The painting can be viewed at the Gift Horse Gallery, also on Whitchurch Road.
Birmingham City and Las Vegas Sands have provided them with a gift horse and the people of our great city a stadium to rival Wembley and facilities that would be second to none.
Gift Horse has come in for strong support after it was confirmed Kieren Fallon will ride the gelding in Saturday's William Hill Sprint Cup.
Kieren Fallon proved himself the punters' friend again at Goodwood on Saturday as he delivered Gift Horse to lead on the line and land the Vodafone Stewards' Cup.
ICEMAN Kieren Fallon lived up to his "assassin" nickname in typical style at Goodwood as he pounced to lift the pounds 58,000 Vodafone Stewards' Cup on 9-2 chance Gift Horse.
GIFT HORSE got up in the last stride to pip Fonthill Road in the pounds 100,000 Vodafone Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood.
This is one gift horse we might have looked a little more closely in the mouth.
It was the fourth win of the night for Andreas - Highview Major, Pretty Maldini and Big Gift Horse also secured maximum points for Sittingbourne - who stole the show on a memorable evening for the progressive Kent track.
The one I am interested in is Gift Horse who won this corresponding event three years ago and went on to land the Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood that same season.
David Nicholls also has four engaged including last season's Stewards' Cup winner Gift Horse, who may be joined by Moss Vale, Tax Free and Strike Up The Band, while Godolphin rely solely on Iffraaj.
Sprint specialist David Nicholls is set to rely on Gift Horse, while the in-form Kevin Ryan team have both Amadeus Wolf and Balthazaar's Gift engaged in the pounds 350,000 contest.
Are Cardiff councillors so preoccupied that they can't see a steam roller-sized gift horse unless it flew over the Atlantic and socked them in the mouth?
Kieren Fallon (light blue) guides 9-2 winner Gift Horse through to victory by a neck in the Vodafone Stewards' Cup at Goodwood on Saturday; Kevin Manning pilots Alexander Goldrun to an impressive victory in the Vodafone Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Saturday