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Animal idioms: Where does “straight from the horse’s mouth” come from?

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What does it mean when someone says, “I found out straight from the horse’s mouth?” Do they know a talking horse? From Nature PBS’ Say What?! video series:

“The saying ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ means getting information directly from someone who knows it best. But why do we say this? Well, back in the old days, horses were a huge part of everyday life, especially as a way for people to get around. And some believed the surest way to tell a horse’s age was to examine its mouth.”

horse news
Phrases like “it’s raining cats and dogs,” “that’s the bee’s knees,” and “a little bird told me” are idioms; these expressions transcend the words’ literal meanings, adding depth, color, humor, and nuance to communication through familiar stories or cultural references.

In these animal examples, “it’s raining cats and dogs” means it’s raining heavily, and “that’s the bee’s knees” signifies that something is excellent or outstanding. The phrase “a little bird told me,” also an idiom, implies that the speaker got information from a secret source.

Say What?! covers these expressions and more.

hearing it straight from the horse's mouth
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