In the village of Vosava, Belarus, men prepare a horse and a sleigh come celebrate the brand-new Year ~ above January 13 according to the Julian calendar, 2017.


Now, the VOA learning English routine Words and also Their Stories.

You are watching: Gift horse in the mouth guess the emoji

On this show, we check out the origins and also usage of usual expressions in American English. Sometimes we tie the present to an occasion or one-of-a-kind time that the year. This show might be bound to any time the the year that attributes a holiday.

Holidays space a wonderful time the the year! They are a time when people slow down and take a rest from their daily lives.

While holidays are celebrated in various ways, numerous have miscellaneous in common -- gift-giving!

And who doesn"t prefer to get a present. Spanned in quite paper, possibly tied v a bow or ribbon, a sheathe gift is a surprise. It can be anything!

"Oh, you yes, really shouldn"t have!" is a common solution when someone hands you a gift. Us say this also when we room thinking to ourselves, “Yay! I got a present!”

Sometimes the gift is perfect.

"It"s simply what ns have always wanted!" you can say.

Sometimes it"s not.

We have all to be there. You happy tear open up a gift, wondering what is inside. Yet then you check out it and you are ... disappointed. However you need to not show it. And you absolutely have to not slam the gift and make comments about why friend don"t favor it.

In other words, don"t look a gift equine in the mouth.

This idiom is really old.

Way ago in 1546, a guy named man Heywood supposedly offered this phrase in some middle English text. ("No guy ought to looke a geuen hors in the mouth.”)

However, some word professionals say the idiom is lot older than that. Yet old it is, civilization must have actually used it as soon as gifting a steed was a usual thing.

To know this idiom, us must understand a bit around horse"s teeth. They grow over time. So, checking the length of the teeth is a way of learning the horse"s age. Return I have actually never provided or got a horse, I"m guessing a young horse makes a far better gift than an old one.

However, check the horse"s mouth would be a authorize of mistrust towards the gift giver. This would certainly be bad manners. And also it might make the giver feel embarrassed or even angry!

The polite point to carry out is just to speak "thank you" and accept the gift horse graciously.

These days, equines are not usual gifts. But we generally use this idiom.

Today "don’t (or never) look a gift steed in the mouth" method don"t uncover fault through something that has actually been received as a gift or favor. Don’t be ungrateful once you receive a present, also if the not exactly what you wanted. If you complain around a gift someone has provided you or a donate someone has actually done because that you, you can be accused of looking a gift steed in the mouth.

Besides gifts, you can use this idiom for various other things, such together a favor.

Let"s to speak you questioning a girlfriend to aid cook a dish because that a party you space throwing for a group of senior citizens in her neighborhood.

She pertains to the dinner, smiling from ear to ear, and hands friend the dish she has actually cooked. The is really burnt and also it smells ... Odd. However you don"t want to watch a gift equine in the mouth. You say thanks to her for her dish and also the time she took to make it. Then you put it on the table ... In the earlier ... Where civilization hopefully won’t view it.

So, following time you get a gift the is less than perfect, remember that it is no nice to look a gift steed in the mouth. After ~ all, it’s the believed that counts. This method that it"s the believed of gift-giving and not the gift itself that is important.

And nothing worry. If you gain something together a gift that you yes, really don"t like, girlfriend can constantly pass it follow me to someone else who may actually prefer it.

In various other words, you can constantly re-gift it!

And that"s the end of this Word and Their Stories!

I"m Anna Matteo.

See more: Who Sang Baby Come To Me - Baby Come To Me (Regina Belle Song)

Peace top top Earth, goodwill to guys is the greatest gift of all.

Peace ~ above Earth, goodwill to guys is the best gift the all.

Have you ever before received a gift that you no like? usage the expression you heard below to phone call us around it in the comments Section!

Anna Matteo created this story for VOA finding out English. Hai execute was the editor. The track at the finish is Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton singing "The best Gift the All."


Words in This Story

bow n. a node made through one or an ext loops ("Tie the ribbon in a bow.")

ribbon n. a level or tubular narrow very closely woven fabric (as the silk or rayon) offered for trimmings or knitting : a narrow fabric used for tying packages

disappointed v. emotion sad, unhappy, or displeased because something was no as great as meant or because something friend hoped for or expected did no happen

idiom n. one expression that cannot be understood from the interpretations of its separate words but that has actually a separate meaning of the own

supposedly adv. asserted to it is in true or actual

manners n. behavior when with other people

embarrassed v. to do (a person, group, government, etc.) look foolish in public