Now, the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.
Today, we tell about "horse" expressions. In the past, many people depended on horses for transportation, farming and other kinds of work. A lot of people still like to ride horses. And horse racing is also popular. So it is not surprising that Americans still use expressions about the animals.
Long ago, people who were rich or important rode horses that were very tall. Today, if a girl acts like she is better than everyone else, you might say she should "get off her high horse."
Yesterday, my children wanted me to take them to the playground. But I had to finish my work, so I told them to "hold your horses" -- wait until I finish what I am doing. My two boys like to compete against each other and play in a violent way. I always tell them to stop "horsing around" or someone could get hurt.
Assistant trainer Alan Sherman, left, stands Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, with exercise rider Willie Delgado, May 17, 2014.
We live in a small town. It does not have any exciting activities to offer visitors. My children call it a "one-horse town."
Last night, I got a telephone call while I was watching my favorite television show. I decided not to answer it because "wild horses could not drag me away" from the television -- there was nothing that could stop me from doing what I wanted to do.
Sometimes you get information "straight from the horse's mouth." It comes directly from the person who knows most about the subject and is the best source. Let us say your teacher tells you there is going to be a test tomorrow. You could say you got the information "straight from the horse's mouth." However, you would not want to call your teacher a horse!
You may have heard this expression: "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." That means you can give someone advice but you cannot force him to do something he does not want to do.
Sometimes a person fights a battle that has been decided or keeps arguing a question that has been settled. We say this is like "beating a dead horse."
In politics, a "dark-horse candidate" is someone who is not well known to the public. Sometimes, a dark horse unexpectedly wins an election.
Another piece of advice is "do not change horses in midstream." You would not want to get off one horse and on to another in the middle of a river. Or make major changes in an activity that has already begun. In the past, this expression was used as an argument to re-elect a president, especially during a time when the country was at war.
This VOA Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust. I'm Faith Lapidus. You can find more Words and Their Stories at our website, learningenglish.voanews.com.
1.dark horse 黑马（出人意外获胜的赛马或参赛人）；（美）“黑马”候选人（常因各方妥协而意外获得提名或当选）
Gerald would be a dark horse to the end.
2.straight from the horse's mouth 来自权威和可靠的消息
I got It'straight from the horse's mouth.
3.midstream n. 中流，河流正中
Some of them got caught midstream by the tide.
1. High horse 傲慢无礼，目中无人的态度
例如：The minute Max starts arguing, he gets on his high horse.
由此引申出的短语还有 ride one's high horse，根据high horse的意思就很容易理解该短语的意思，就是“骑着高头大马，耀武扬威，横得不行的样子”。
If you keep riding your high horse, you will lose your best friends.
2. horse around 嬉闹
例如：Stop horsing around and get to work for Pete's sake! 别玩了，拜托干活去吧。
A: Look, there are two men fighting there.
B: Don't worry, they are just horsing around.
另外，horse around 还有 play around 的意思，所以如果有人问你：Do you want to horse around? 可别以为是邀请你去骑马，那可要闹笑话的哦。
3. beat/flog a dead horse重提早已解决了的问题；炒冷饭; 白费口舌; 浪费精力
A: I'd like to talk with you again about what happened.
B: Oh, Come on. Let's not beat a dead horse.
If you want to complain about the unfair result, fine. Just remember you are beating a dead horse.如果你喜欢抱怨不公平的结果，随便你。不过，你要记住，你这样做是徒劳无益的 。
其他的关于马的习语还有很多，如 dark horse 一般引申为出乎意料的人或事，hold one's horse 表示控制某人的行为，一般用在劝人三思而行，不要冲动的场合。
今天我们来讲述一下关于"horse"的表达方式。在过去，许多人的交通，耕作和其他活动主要依赖马 。现在，仍然有很多人喜欢骑马 。赛马运动也非常流行 。所以，美国人仍然喜欢使用与马有关的表达方式很正常 。
很久以前，有钱人或者重要人物经常骑着高头大马。今天，如果一个女孩子表现的好像她比其他人都优越，你可以跟她说“别摆架子”(get off her high horse) 。
昨天，我的孩子想让我带大门去操场上玩。但是我必须先完成工作，所以我告诉他们“耐心一点”(hold your horses),等我完成手头的工作 。
我的两个儿子经常相互竞争，以比较暴力的方式玩耍。我老是告诉他们“别闹了”(stop horsing around)，否则会有人受伤的 。
我们住在一个小镇上。没有任何激动人心的活动可以提供给游客 。我的孩子称这个小镇为“乡村小镇”(one-horse town) 。
昨天晚上，我正在看最喜欢的电视节目的时候收到一个电话。我准备不接电话，因为八抬大轿都不能把我从电视机前拉走(wild horses could not drag me away) 。任何事情都休想阻止我做自己想做的事 。
有时候你“从可靠的方面获得信息”(straight from the horse's mouth)。这些消息直接来自最了解情况的人，是最好的消息来源 。比如说，老师告诉你明天举行测验，你可以说你得到了“最可靠的消息 。”(straight from the horse's mouth)你可能听说过这样一句话：师父引进门，修行在个人(You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.) 。意思是，你可以给某人提供建议，但是不能强迫他做自己不想做的事情 。
有时，一个人可能一直就已经决定了的战争而战斗，或者一直争论已经解决了的问题。我们说，这简直是白费口舌(就好象beating a dead horse) 。
在政治界，黑马候选人(dark-horse candidate)指的是不为公众所熟知的候选人。有时，黑马可能出人意料地在选举中获胜 。
另外一条建议是，临阵别换将(do not change horses in midstream,别在河流中央换马)。你不想在和中间下马换乘另外一匹马 。或者在一项活动已经开始之后做出重大变动 。在过去，这个短语经常用在重现选举总统的争论中，尤其是国家处在战争中的时候 。