stallion/mare

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coconutpalm

Senior Member
Chinese,China
Originally Posted by coconutpalm http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=428301
Chinese: 白马王子bai2 ma3 wang2 zi3, which literally means the prince that rides a white stallion.

Why stallion? Why not a mare?
This is my post in the OL forum. My original thought is that a hero, a prince that is to save a princess from the dragon's clutch must be riding a warhorse, big and fierce, and I thought "stallion" was the word for it.
However, Samanthalee's reply seems to suggest that stallion means male horse, as opposed to mare, female horse.

Any enlightenment is appreciated!
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    This is my post in the OL forum. My original thought is that a hero, a prince that is to save a princess from the dragon's clutch must be riding a warhorse, big and fierce, and I thought "stallion" was the word for it.
    However, Samanthalee's reply seems to suggest that stallion means male horse, as opposed to mare, female horse.

    Any enlightenment is appreciated!
    The link you provided didn't work, Coconutpalm. As a result, I haven't read Samanthalee's post but if she said that a "stallion" is a male horse, she's partly right - a "stallion" is an uncastrated male horse. A "gelding" is a castrated male horse. A mare is a female horse.

    In terms of a hero riding a horse, the mental image would be of a stallion - feisty and agressive because he's not a gelding.:D
     

    coconutpalm

    Senior Member
    Chinese,China
    Thank you, Dimcl!
    I have edited my post and the link is correct now. Sorry for the inconvenience. But I still don't know why my font is so small! I have to press my eyes against the screen to see them clearly!

    So stallion is not wrongly used, right?
    However, I'm skeptical that there should be a better word than it, since Samanthalee asked the question.
    Could you suggest any? Thank you!
     

    looking-at-the-stars

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't know why Samanthalee asked that because stallion is exactly what I would say to get that epic fairy tale feel. You could say horse, but a prince riding on a white stallion is pretty common imagery.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Thank you, Dimcl!
    I have edited my post and the link is correct now. Sorry for the inconvenience. But I still don't know why my font is so small! I have to press my eyes against the screen to see them clearly!

    So stallion is not wrongly used, right?
    However, I'm skeptical that there should be a better word than it, since Samanthalee asked the question.
    Could you suggest any? Thank you!
    The perception is that a strong male figure such as a hero/prince would ride a strong male horse. Since a mare is a female horse, this doesn't "fit the picture". There's no reason why a hero wouldn't ride a mare (and I'm sure that many have because they are more manageable and obedient than stallions) but in a story or fairy tale, it's usually a stallion signifying a full-blooded, testosterone-fuelled war horse. I think that Samanthalee's question was rhetorical...
     

    Ecossaise

    Senior Member
    English
    Mares and geldings can be just as fiery as stallions. You can avoid all connotations by saying "fiery white steed".
     
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