Decorating today is an ornament of a different color.

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
I can't seem to parse this in red. What does this mean? Is this an inverted form?

We were ready for Christmas, and we'd got that way inexpensively --- a word you use when you don't want to say cheap. The total investment in decorations, beginning with the free tree, might have reached $20.00 --- a lavish sum spread out over no telling how many years. Decorating today is an ornament of a different color. I Googled "Christmas decorations for sale" and looked at what's available in modern Yuletide festoonery. ("Hang That Tree Ornament" --- 'And the merchant who sold it to you' by William Jeanes, The Saturday Evening Post, Nov/Dec 2011)
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    An ornament of a different color is a play on the expression a horse of a different color, which means something else entirely/something totally different.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    An ornament of a different color is a play on the expression a horse of a different color, which means something else entirely/something totally different.
    No wonder I couldn't understand it. Is this 'a horse ... color' an expression commonly known by most everyone?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't think there's an AmE/BrE divide: I know it:cool:. But I don't think I've ever used it - nor do I come across it very often:).
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    A play on the phrase "horse of a different color" figures prominently in the MGM movie "The Wizard of Oz", where the horse that pulls the carriage in the Emerald City keeps changing. Dorothy remarks:

    "I've never seen a horse like that before!"

    And the carriage driver responds:

    "No -- and never will again, I fancy. There's only one of him, and he's it. He's the Horse of a Different Color you've heard tell about."
     
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