a horse apiece


American English
Long story, but this is what I heard today.

[me] How long does it take to get to XXX in comparison to YYY.
[a somewhat sort of family member] It's a horse apiece.

This proceeded to me saying "what did you say?", then he explained that it's means its the same. In other words, it's the same amount of time.

I did my due Google-ence and, it's clear that it's Midwestern-speak. I grew up here, but had never heard it all through the years.

I'm wondering how widespread it is in the USA and/or if American English speakers understand it.
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I spent the first 14 years of my life in the Midwest and the rest all over the place and have never heard the expression.

    As far as can see, it's nothing but the stuff the milk-wagon and junk-wagon horses dropped in the alley behind our apartment building in Chicago many years ago.
    Last edited:


    American English
    Okay. Thanks for a consensus. I thought I'd just been oblivious to it. I can't believe I'm going to type this, but the guy isn't exactly, erm, let's say "cosmopolitan" and has spent all of his life in rural areas (he's approx. 30). Maybe it's more of a colloquial rural term. I was surprised to see it gets hits on the Internet.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    Did you find the discussion on the Stack Exchange website, perp? According to one contributor, the geographical boundaries of the expression are quite narrow:
    It is commonly used in the northern 2/3 of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan yet unknown in adjacent Minnesota, except perhaps on the iron range in NE Minn. I know 2 people from NE Minnesota who say it. [...]
    The occurrence of “a horse apiece” in the Upper Midwest is pretty much defined by the Wisconsin state line on the west. People on the Wisconsin side of the St Croix River use the expression every day, while people a mile away on the Minnesota side have never even heard the expression (and there is an interstate and short bridge connecting the 2 areas!).
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