Monday, January 27, 2020

Cowboy Sayings - Need to See a Man about a Horse

In the west, horse races were fairly common. It was typically used as a time of celebration, maybe held during a festival or fair. A town might sponsor a race, set it up and then collect an entry fee from each racer to put into a pot for the winner.

But the winner wasn't the only one who received money in their winnings. Betting on races back in those days was considered a fun expression of support for their favorite horse or rider. Gambling wouldn't have been as much of a problem because horse racing wasn't a daily or multi-daily occurrence.

Regardless, in order to join the race or place a bet on one, you had to do so in a timely manner. The race had a start time and you needed to be at the start line or finished with your bet before the race started. So, if you needed to see a man about a horse before a race, you needed to excuse yourself from a conversation quickly because time was of the essence.

Today, when you "need to see a man about a horse," you are saying that you have something expedient that you must take care of, if you could be excused. Normally, that expedient thing now is the need to use the restroom. And the expression is considered a funny idiom, since most people have nothing to do with horses or racing.

How often do you see this expression used in daily life? Did you know the meaning of it before? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. Hi, this is very interesting, I had never heard that expression before, now I can tell that to my younger sister, her and her friend go to the horse races. Thank you for sharing this very cute saying. Have a Great week. God Bless you. I am always learning something on these posts, and I Thank you all for that!

  2. Thank you for sharing this post, I had never heard anyone use this expression before , actually I didn't even know what it meant, but now a Big Thank you to you , I do. :)