Hold your horses

中国日报网 2014-10-24 14:02



Hold your horses

Reader question:

Please explain “hold my horses” in this: “I wanted to tell you everything about the new improvements... but the big boss told me to hold my horses a few more days!”

My comments:

Here, the big boss tells the writer to be a little more patient, asking him to hold on to the news for a few more days.

In case, for instance, there’d be still more new improvements to be made in the meantime.

At least that’s what “hold my horses” suggests here, more or less.

“Hold your horses” is an American idiom which harks back to the old days when wagons driven by horses were roaming the roads instead automobiles. And if we take the “horses” as the horses driving that kind of vehicle, it will be easier to understand why we sometimes call the driver, say, a messenger, to “hold his horses”.

Obviously when the horses start to run, galloping away in full speed, it would be in vain if you recalled something else for the messenger to do for you. There’d be no catching up with messenger now, not by foot at any rate.

At any rate, you tell the messenger to hold his horses, so you can make sure there’s nothing amiss.

That’s it. American idioms are so easy to understand when they’re explained. That’s the beauty about American English.

Or the beastliness about it – in the eyes of the old school master in an English school in England. To the English purists back in the home country, Americans have ruined their language.

Anyways, to tell someone to “hold their horses” is for them to hold on, be patient and wait for a while.

In other words, do not rush into things – lest you do something rash and regret it later.

Alright, here are media examples:

1. A year ago, it was in the bag. Six months ago, dead certain. Six weeks ago, no problem. Now, it’s hold your horses. Rudy vs. Hillary, the battle of titans, could be called off. The problem is a sudden lack of voter interest.

Storms named Obama and Huckabee are roiling the presidential campaign. Seemingly out of nowhere, i.e., middle America, these upstarts are upstaging the heavyweights. The rookie Illinois senator and the former Arkansas governor were supposed to be practice dummies for the marquee names.

Party poopers, that’s what they are. We didn’t want just any old Democrat vs. any old Republican. We wanted Mommy vs. Daddy, the Alpha Female vs. the Alpha Male.

The dream showdown still might happen, but the momentum is, for the first time, against it. Sinking in the early-state polls, Rudy and Hillary are locked in struggles for their political lives. With voting set to begin right after Christmas and new year’s, time is growing short to change the dynamics. They could go down before they get a chance to go at each other.

- Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are struggling to stay front-runners, NYDailyNews.com, December 15, 2007.

2. Jennifer Lopez has silenced critics of her marriage, revealing her husband is begging her for more kids only a year after she gave birth to twins.

The buxom Latino says she’s up for the task but has told randy Marc Anthony to hold his horses while she squeezes in a few more career plans.

Jen from the block says: ‘Let me work just a little bit first, Let me get a couple things out there … one song, one movie, something.’

Lopez revealed her hubby’s frustration telling: ‘Marc is like, “What are we waiting for?”‘

‘I like [need] to recuperate,’ the 39-year-old singer says after giving birth to babies Max and Emme in February last year.

‘I definitely want to have more though. I don’t know if it’s in the cards for us, but I would like to.’

- J-Lo reveals new baby plans, Metro.co.uk, March 17, 2009.

3. One thing that we all have in common is that we have the perfect hair colour waiting for us, the tricky thing is finding out what it is.

Finding the perfect hair colour for you can be difficult. Many of us have experimented with all different types of colours, trying to find the one that looks perfect. Believe us, here at Yen Hair we have seen many, many people trying all sorts of colours trying to find the perfect one for them...ourselves included!

Before you run off and experiment with different hair colours, hold your horses! Choosing the wrong colour can be expensive to repair and the use of lots of dyes and products in your hair can sometimes damage your hair.

To help you choose the perfect hair colour for you, at Yen Hair we have sat down and plucked the best advice that we could think of when it comes to choosing hair colours....

- Tips for choosing the perfect hair colour, YenHair.com, September 3, 2013




About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.



A shot across the bows?

Count your blessings

Pie in the sky

Pulling out all the stops?

Fall in line?

Take a bow?


(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑:祝兴媛)



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