Podcast: Straight from the horse's mouth – Inglês Online

Podcast: Straight from the horse’s mouth

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

May 02
Inglês Online Straight from the horse’s mouth

Hello, all.  Hoje falamos sobre dois idioms muito comuns no inglês com a palavra horse.


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So here’s an idiom I’ve been hearing quite a bit lately: I don’t have a horse in this race. What does that mean? Basically it means that you’re talking about something whose outcome doesn’t affect you. People usually say that to mean, you know, that they can be impartial or unbiased regarding the topic they’re talking about, as in “I don’t have a horse in this race – whatever the outcome, it doesn’t matter to me but here’s my opinion…”

For example, let’s say your friend is telling you about a new Italian restaurant that opened in his neighbourhood, and how it is much better than the old Italian restaurant near his flat. Your friend says that the new place is part of a chain and, no matter what you order, they’ll get the food to your table in less than fifteen minutes. Your friend is raving about it and saying he will never go back to the old restaurant.

And then you say “Look, I don’t even like Italian food so I don’t have a horse in this race. I have to say, though, anything you order ready in under fifteen minutes… That doesn’t sound very appetising to me. If I were you I wouldn’t ditch the old place just yet.”

Or let’s say your friend is doing some course homework. You glance at one of the answers and you can tell he misused a word, which changes the meaning of the answer. You let him know but he insists you’re wrong. You say “Look, I don’t have a horse in this race; I’m just trying to help.” It doesn’t really affect you whether your friend misuses the word or not: you have no horse in this race.

So let’s move on to our second idiom of today: straight from the horse’s mouth. This is a very, very common one and if you regularly watch TV shows you’ve probably heard it before. Let’s say your friend Jennifer has just told you she’s moving to Poland. So later today you bump into your other friend Leslie, who’s also friends with Jennifer, and you give her the news: Jennifer is moving to Poland.

Leslie is very surprised, and says “Where did you hear that?” and you say “Straight from the horse’s mouth.” The horse in this case is Jennifer, figuratively speaking, of course. Jennifer gave you the news herself. You heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Your friend Kimmy missed class yesterday, so you phone her up to let her know you’re all taking a test tomorrow. Kimmy says “Who told you that?” and you say “I was in class! Heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.” The horse, in this case, would be the teacher.

That’s a very common situation, isn’t it? You’re telling someone a secret, a bit of gossip, news, and they say “Are you sure? Who told you that? Where did you hear that?” Well, now you know: every time you get your information from the source – the person who’s moving to another country, who’s been in an accident, or the decision-maker in the situation… You can say “I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.”

Can you think of anything going on in your own life right now where you would say that? Let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time!


Key terms

  • I don’t have a horse in this race
  • straight from the horse’s mouth



ditch the old place = abandonar o lugar antigo



Ana Luiza

Ana Luiza criou um blog de dicas de inglês em 2006, e depois de muito pesquisar o que faz alguém ganhar fluência numa segunda língua, criou seu primeiro curso de inglês em 2009.

Latest posts by Ana Luiza (see all)

  • Val says:

    I met my friend, and he said for me that my another friend was approved in Biology at USP, but he heard it by my cousin.
    Só, I asked to him. Who said it for you?
    My friend, then said:
    I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.

  • Gilson Maia says:

    Hi Ana, Can I say in the same case? I don’t have a dog in this fight.

  • Albukerk says:

    Amazing podcast !!!
    By the way I was wondering what is the difference between “to Imagine Something” and “To Picture Something”? Could you help me with that ? Thank you Ana Luiza.

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