If the world was truly a rational place, men would ride sidesaddle. ~ Rita Mae Brown
Pronunciation: 'ek-w&s, 'Ek-
: a genus of the family Equidae that comprises the horses, asses, zebras, and related recent and extinct mammals Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
|1.||a conference or discussion.|
|2.||a long parley, esp. one between primitive natives and European traders, explorers, colonial officials, etc.|
|3.||profuse and idle talk; chatter.|
|4.||persuasive talk; flattery; cajolery.|
–verb (used without object)
|5.||to talk profusely and idly.|
|6.||to parley or confer.|
–verb (used with object)
|7.||to cajole or persuade.|
So, essentially, horse talk. Or the talking horse. Or to stretch it a bit far:
Meaning: From the highest authority.
In horse racing circles tips on which horse is a likely winner circulate amongst punters. The most trusted authorities are considered to be those in closest touch with the recent form of the horse, i.e. stable lads, trainers etc. The notional ‘from the horse’s mouth’ is supposed to indicate one step better than even that inner circle, i.e. the horse itself.
It is a 20th century phrase. The earliest printed version I can find of it is from the USA and clearly indicates the horseracing context – in the Manitoba Morning Free Press, January 1913:
“I got a tip yesterday, and if it wasn’t straight from the horse’s mouth it was jolly well the next thing to it.”
Also, I had never heard the word ‘palaver’ before my dad introduced it to my vocabulary. Basically, I stole one of his favorite words to ramble about one of my favorite subjects.