It's horse and horse.

Encolpius

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello, do natives know the idiom "it's horse and horse" and use it instead of the simple "it's all the same"?
Can I say: Hitler, Stalin, it's horse and horse... :)
Thanks.
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I have never heard that idiom. Have you seen it somewhere in English, or is it a translation of a Hungarian saying?
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I came across it on a professional translation's website.... it does not exist in Hungarian at all...it might be British
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    it might be British
    :confused:
    You could try using the search box it's horse and horse, then click the "in context" link to find ..... zero results. You could also try Googling the phrase, with the quotation marks, "it's horse and horse" to discover that there are less than two full pages of hits and they are nearly all Hungarian translation sites.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    But "horses for courses" means something totally different. It means that different people, products, etc., do well in different situations. One person might be a world-class marathon runner while another is an international grandmaster in chess. The choice between them depends on whether one needs to have a marathon run or a chess game played. It does not suggest that the people are both the same.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    This puts me in mind of a certain Monty Python sketch (link not allowed here, Encolpius, but if you don't know it, look for "Hungarian phrasebook" in YouTube). The horse expression is about as English as "My hovercraft is full of eels"!

    Seriously, I think thought Myridon's suggestion is was the most likely: that it's an expression in some other language, translated word for word into English before appearing on that (Hungarian?) website.

    [Edit]: HOWEVER, I've come across a Project Gutenberg eBook, The Motor Girls at Lookout Beach, by Margaret Penrose (a Stratemeyer Syndicate pseudonym), in which there's the line: "I guess it's horse and horse," he added, good-naturedly, if slangily. This was about admitting equal blame for a near-accident on the road. The book was written in 1911, so maybe it was a known colloquialism at that time, but has since completely disappeared (except in Hungarian phrasebooks!;)).

    Ws:)
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    sdgraham said:
    We say "they're like peas in a pod," but that's a horse of a different color.
    That would be green, then.
    Wordsmyth said:
    This puts me in mind of a certain Monty Python sketch
    As it happens, according to ngrams, after about 1950, "horse and horse" is pretty rare, hovering at about the same level of popularity as "full of eels", and much rarer even than "hen's teeth".
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Thanks, ewie and Ed, for the extra research. It seems the Cassell Dictionary of Slang doesn't have an online version, which explains why it didn't show up in a Google search. However, a search for "horse and horse" slang does come up with a few other references.

    A couple of them relate "horse and horse" to a similar expression, "a horse apiece", which has the same meaning (at least in "the northern 2/3 of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan"(!), according to this english,stackexchange page).

    Word Detective also mentions "horse and horse" and "a horse apiece" (scroll down to the second article, 'Maybe it's related ...'). This one comes eerily close to sdg's 'horse of a different color' (the green one, Ed ;)) ...
    We say "they're like peas in a pod," but that's a horse of a different color.
    ... The article recounts someone's mishearing of "a horse apiece" as "a horse of peas"! So there we are – loop closed!:D

    Ws:)
     
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