Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thank You For Not Biting Me

I can admit when I am wrong. I submit that I do not know everything. I concur that my knowledge has limits. But I was really sure I knew what I was talking about this morning. I was confident in the answer I was giving my children. I thought their question was an easy one and answered it without any labored thought. My answer came out automatically, from the deep recall section of my brain. I don't know when I learned the answer I was giving. I have just always known the meaning of the idiom "don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

My boys wanted to know what that means. So I told them, from the deep recall section of my brain I remind you, it means to be wary of someone bearing gifts as they might have ulterior motives behind their gift giving and thus acceptance of said gift may come to "bite you" later (hence the mouth reference.)

When I was finished answering, my husband said almost mockingly, as you are probably saying right now, "No, it doesn't."


This is the meaning I have been carrying around with me since before I can remember. And now at the age of 43, I am learning that I am mistaken? Appears so.

My husband explained, from the deep recall section of his brain too, the real meaning of the saying. Apparently, it means to not criticize or refuse something given to you. A gift is a gift and should be accepted as such.

After the peals of laughter subsided, my husband Googled it to prove it to me. Okay, I concede my error. But I am left wondering who gave me this misinformation? Or did I make this up long ago as a child, embarassed to ask the meaning myself and then letting my imagination run wild? Regardless of its origin, thankfully now I can stop worrying about mean people bearing gifts and being bitten by rabid horses. It happens, you know.


  1. i think the trojan horse thing got confused with the gift horse. mixing aphorisms is a specialty in this house.

  2.'s all water under the dam now : )

  3. Christmas gift exchanges this year will be interesting...... heeeeeeeeee
    I am sticking with your definition. I have never inspected any horse's teeth but have received alot of gifts with expectations.


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