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See a man about a horse

IMG_9661When I was a youngster my grandfather would sometimes say before leaving the room, “I’m off to see a man about a horse”.  When he’d get back I’d ask, “So did you buy a horse”, he would reply “No, he wanted too much for it”.  Years later I realised it was his way of excusing himself to go to the toilet.  How naive.

This got me thinking, where does that saying come from.  The answer is Cockney rhyming slang.

Origin of the phrase

‘See a man about a horse’ started life as ‘see a man about a dog’.  Dog of course rhymes with bog, bog of course means toilet.  Although I have no idea why bog = toilet!

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