Green’s Dictionary of Slang

horse n.

also hoss

1. in gambling.

(a) a lottery ticket that is hired out by the day.

[UK]Brice’s Weekly Journal 14 Oct. 2: Tis computed that 6000 Tickets, called Horses, are hired every Day in Exchange-Alley [OED].

(b) (US) a queen in cards.

[US]C.A. Siringo Texas Cow Boy (1950) 127: I put [...] thirty-five dollars on the Queen, or ‘horse,’ as it is called, being the picture of a woman on horseback.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 229: At last he makes an alcy bet of fifty dollars on the queen; what the Greasers calls the ‘hoss’.

(c) (US gambling) a selection of four numbers to be played simultaneously.

[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 16 Oct. 54/2: More recent efforts of genius in the science of policies [i.e. numbers, the n. (1)] have invented ‘horses,’ ‘gigs,’ ‘whips’ and ‘saddles’ [...] those being fancy combinations.
[US]E. Crapsey Nether Side of N.Y. 106: A player had a ‘saddle’ when any two of the numbers he selects are drawn, [...] and a ‘horse’ when the four appear.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 5 Nov. 10/2: Besides ‘gigs,’ there are ‘saddles,’ ‘capitals,’ ‘horses,’ ‘cross-plays’ and ‘station numbers’.
[US]E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden and Mr Paul 99: De horse is on me, me dear.
[US]H. Asbury Sucker’s Progress 93: Horse—Four numbers to appear anywhere on the list. Odds, 680 to 1.

(d) (US) gambling in general.

[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 129: Horse rooms at Oak Street and Park Avenue.

2. as money.

(a) a £5 note [? play on pony n. (1b)].

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.

(b) (Irish) a half-crown.

[Ire]J. Healy Death of an Irish Town 21: A rager blone – four horses and two sprassies. Wide with the makes. Still. (In translation: ‘A country woman – four half crowns and two sixpences ... she’s careful with her money’).

3. as a human being, usu. in congratulatory senses.

(a) (US) a strong, athletic man or an admirable, good fellow.

[US]C. Schultz letter 13 Apr. Travels (1810) II 145: One said, ‘I am a man; I am a horse; I am a team; I can whip any man in all Kentucky, by G-d.’.
[US]Pittsburgh Gaz. (PA) 4 Feb. 2/5: The Colonel is a curis varmint, but he’s a screamer! [...] He can run faster, dive deeper, [...] than any other chap [...] To sum up [...] he’s a horse.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker III 248: He is all sorts of a hoss, and the best live one that ever cut dirt this side of the big pond.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ G’hals of N.Y. 67: I’m a horse, I am!
[UK]T.H. Gladstone Englishman in Kansas 43: Here, boys, drink. Liquors, captain, for the crowd. Step up this way, old hoss, and liquor.
[US]C. Abbey diary 21 Oct. in Gosnell Before the Mast (1989) 272: He’s a smart man, knows his duty [...] or to use a sea phrase (‘a regular Horse’).
[UK]J. Mair Hbk of Phrases 107: Horse, a man of energy.
[US]‘Frederick Benton Williams’ (H.E. Hamblen) On Many Seas 123: The mate, a long, lanky, whiskered Welshman, was a horse. He worked with us, and set the pace.
[Aus] ‘The Broken-down Squatter’ in ‘Banjo’ Paterson Old Bush Songs 56: And it’s hard on a ‘hoss’ when he’s nought for a boss, / But a broken-down squatter like me!
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘With Music’ Sporting Times 8 Jan. 1/3: All the ‘class’ of the Buildings assembled in force, / For we all reckoned Bosky a rippin’ good ’orse.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 616: He was just a big foolish nervous noodly kind of a horse, without a second care in the world.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 183: I’m a hard old hoss for the road.
[US]M.H. Boulware Jive and Sl.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 574: He’s a horse [...] A regular horse. He could do the same thing over again right now and not even feel it.
[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 22: hoss – A handle for a person that is usually a large, powerful and athletic type.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 178: We’ll find a big black stud [...] you always enjoy seeing me get fucked by a big black horse.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 328: Heffernan checked his men. ‘How many horses do I have here?’.
[US]L. Pettiway Workin’ It 216: He had a little dick, and my pussy was used to just that dick. I tried to go out and get dicks from somewhere else, and I ran into a horse, so ... Oh my God, that was painful!
[US]S.A. Crosby Razorblade Tears 94: A big ol’ hoss with a crew cut.

(b) (US) one’s husband.

[US]G.W. Harris in Inge High Times and Hard Times (1967) 119: I told you, George, that Sicily an her hoss, ole Clapshaw, warn’t agwine ter pull well in the same yoke.

(c) (US, also cholly, cholly hoss, hoss) a form of address by one man to another.

[US]Yale Literary Mag. x 168: The judge demanded of the groom, ‘Will you take Susan Jenkins as your lawful wedded wife?’ ‘Well, hoss, I reckon I will.’.
[US]Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 10 Aug. n.p.: Did you know that there is, in this village, the biggest kind of cat house [...] Well, there is, horse.
[UK]G.J. Whyte-Melville Digby Grand (1890) 45: ‘G’long, hoss!’ concluded our informant, with roars of laughter at Jessamy.
[US]Border Adventures 231: Now, I say, old hoss, if you don’t hurry up and cut dirt like streak-lightnin’, this child goes arter you, and you look out for a windin’ sheet, you hear? [F&H].
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 221: The backwoodsman [...] speaks of himself in mock modesty as this child, or more self-asserting, as this horse, and his friend is affectionately greeted as ‘Wal, Ole Hoss, how are ye?’.
[UK]W. Pett Ridge Minor Dialogues 300: Stow it, Cholly.
[UK]Marvel 22 Oct. 4: Say, old hoss! you’d make a mighty easy mark if we chose to shoot you.
[UK]Marvel 9 Aug. 1: What do you want, old hoss?
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 268: Sam, old hoss.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 27: Please believe me, Cholly Hoss, I’m laying no hype.
[UK]A.B. Guthrie Way West 316: Summers said, ‘Party’s over, hoss.’.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 361: That’s all the time we got tonight, hoss.
[US]E. Shrake Strange Peaches 147: ‘Think you’re a stud badass, huh? You be there Thursday morning, hoss’.
[US]D. Jenkins Life Its Ownself (1985) 84: I said, naw, you got to do it here, hoss.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 197: You heard of the whore with the heart of gold? Well, you’re lookin at her, hoss.
[US]G. Pelecanos Drama City 244: You clean the shit out your own yard, hoss.
[US]G. Pelecanos (con. 1972) What It Was 183: ‘Lawyer,’ said Bowman. ‘You’re gonna need one, Hoss,’ said Vaughn.
[US]D. Winslow ‘The Last Ride’ in Broken 291: ‘Why don’t you come over here and try, hoss?’.

(d) a fine specimen; usu. constr. with of.

[US] ‘How Sally Hooter Got Snake-Bit’ in T.A. Burke Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 69: She didn’t care er dogon bit for all the sarpints that ever cum er ’long. That old gal was er hoss!
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 5: hoss – someone or something that exhibits extraordinary ability at something: ‘That 1978 Chevy truck is a hoss’.

(e) (US campus) an exceptionally able student.

[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 11: horse n. […] 3. A. student of remarkable ability; a ‘shark,’ q.v.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 41: horse, n. A student of remarkable ability.

(f) (Aus.) one’s wife.

[UK]R. McGregor-Hastie Compleat Migrant 54: A good horse, my sheila.

(g) (US) a large, ungainly woman.

[US]S. King It (1987) 103: I’ve turned into such a horse in the last two years, and my uniforms look so bad now.

4. (also embalmed horse) corned beef.

[US]C. Abbey diary 2 June in Gosnell Before the Mast (1989) 44: Galley Talk. Cook give us that ‘’orse’ & the ‘spuds’.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words & Phrases’ in DN II:i 41: horse, n. Corned beef. Also called red-horse.
[US]C. M’Govern By Bolo and Krag 111: I sat down to some of Bill’s ‘embalmed horse’, coffee and Highland cream.
[US] letter in M. Baldwin Canteening Overseas (1920) 188: We seem to thrive nevertheless – on beef (horse, the boys call it).

5. (US campus) as plays on pony n. (4a)

(a) a literal translation used in preparing a lesson.

[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 11: horse n. 1. A translation used unfairly in the preparation of lessons.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 41: horse, n. A literal translation used in preparing a lesson.
[UK]Lincs. Echo 22 Nov. 2/4: In an article on college slang in the United States [...] translations [...] are not only ‘cribs’ but ‘bicycles’, ‘horses,’ ‘trots,’ and ‘ponies’ — in short something that gets you there quickly.
[US]R.W. Brown ‘Word-List From Western Indiana’ in DN III:viii 586: pony, n. A literal translation. Also called a horse.
[US]H. Sebastian ‘Negro Sl. in Lincoln University’ in AS IX:4 290: ride To use a pony (horse or trot) in an examination, as in I rode all the way in that exam.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 16: A striking example from college slang is the apparent loss of the most pervasive set of college slang items of the nineteenth century, words conveying the image of traveling the easy way — that is, being carried by a horse or pony — to refer to using a translation for Latin class. In the days when Latin was a required subject in British and American schools, pony, horse, and trot were widely known slang terms for ‘a literal translation’.

(b) help in an examination.

[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words & Phrases’ in DN II:i 41: horse, n. Unfair help in examination.

6. as language [? SE horse laugh].

(a) (US) a joke, esp. a joke at someone else’s expense; thus horseplay, teasing.

[US]J. Maitland Amer. Sl. Dict.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words & Phrases’ in DN II:i 41: horse, n. A joke especially broad or humiliating.
[UK]Sporting Times 9 June 3/3: Now comes where they think the hoss is on me. Sure as ye’re born they tip the waiter the wink I’m a new chum.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.
[US]D. Clemmer Prison Community (1940) 333/1: horse, n. A trick or an advantage: ‘you have a horse on me.’.
[US]E. Dundy Dud Avocado (1960) 71: Back in ’49 it was quite another horse, I assure you.
[US]D. Ponicsan Last Detail 74: ‘Cut the horseplay,’ says the bartender.

(b) (US) nonsense, rubbish.

[US]A. Adams Log Of A Cowboy 179: From then on, the yarning and conversation was strictly horse.

7. (drugs) heroin, also attrib [initial letter].

[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 139: She took out a bindle of horse / And shot it right up her arm.
[US]‘Curt Cannon’ ‘Die Hard’ I Like ’Em Tough (1958) 17: Sniff out the hoss, and you’ll find Jerry standing there with his spoon.
[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 14 Dec. 13: His ‘horse’ bill is boosted to a staggering [...] $100 a day .
[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 47: Maggie had [...] overheard kids talking about ‘horse.’ She had been intrigued by the idea of heroin.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Scene (1996) 292: ‘It depends.’ ‘On how much hoss you use.’.
[UK]T. Taylor Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 98: I ought to kiss [England’s] smelly feet for [...] letting me have some horse to poison myself with.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 97: If she began smoking pot, it wouldn’t hurt her, but it might lead to horse.
[US]R.D. Pharr S.R.O. (1998) 287: ‘What kind of a habit did you have anyway?’ ‘Horse. Forty dollars a day at least [...] the youngest junky ever treated by the state of New York’.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 104: I’ve never touched horse!
[US]G. Indiana Rent Boy 90: Mavis and Chip’ve become big-time horse buddies.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 90/2: horse n. heroin.
[US]F.X. Toole Pound for Pound 60: That dirty brown street horse was hard to ride.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 46: She was dating some druggie [...] when he got pinched for moving horse.
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 58: Ah cannae wait tae dae some horse.
[US]D. Winslow Border [ebook] We’ve had some success busting the heroin mills—we’ve seized a lot of horse and a lot of cash.
[US]T. Swerdlow Straight Dope [ebook] I’ll do horse but not horse tranquilizer.

8. (US) a motorcycle.

[US]ATS 83:
[US]D. Dempsey ‘Lang. of Traffic Policemen’ in AS XXXVII:4 269: Horse [...] A motorcycle.

9. (US) a prostitute, one of a group of women working for a pimp [she is part of his stable n.; but also similar pron. to SE whore].

[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 115 : I get along fine with everybody, all but that new horse of Brad’s. [Ibid.] 305: Horse [...] One of a group of girls in a pimp’s stable.
[US]K. Marlowe Mr Madam (1967) 146: Danny, the boss, he’s got three horses running.
[UK]Guardian Guide 12–18 June 9: It would be easier to feel sorry for him if he didn’t keep going on about Sharon (the old horse) as if she was some sort of catch.

10. in pl., horses, horse power.

[US]H. Selby Jr. Last Exit to Brooklyn 11: Watching cars roll by. Identifying them. Make. Model. Year. Horse power. Overhead valve. V-8. 6, 8, a hundred cylinders. Lots a horses.
[US]M. Brookins ‘Aspiration’ in Kochman Rappin’ and Stylin’ Out (1972) 384: I turned the key; there was a slight click, and then the quiet breathing of three hundred horses.

11. (US prison) a visitor or prison warder who is willing to smuggle contraband in and out of prison [var. on mule n. (4c)].

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 86: He needed an important horse, a free man horse, and he had finally settled on a clerk in the mail office.
[US]Maledicta V:1+2 (Summer + Winter) 264: Prisoners try to locate a horse or mule to smuggle contraband, usually drugs or cash, into prison.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

12. venereal disease, spec. gonorrhoea [rhy. sl. horse and trap = clap n.].

[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.
[UK]R. Puxley Cockney Rabbit.

13. see charley horse n.

In derivatives

horsey (adj.)

(UK drugs) pertaining to the world of heroin users.

[UK]T. Taylor Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 71: I wondered why he [i.e. a heroin addict] mixes with us lot instead of his horsy friends.

14. see horseflesh

In compounds

horse-head (n.) [-head sfx (4)]

(US) a heroin addict.

[US]H. Ellson Golden Spike 68: They knew he was on drugs, a real horsehead who hit the main.
[US]E. Hunter Second Ending 239: You don’t need a syringe, Bud. Where there’s a will there’s a way—and there’s always a will when you’re a horsehead.
[US]J. Stahl Permanent Midnight 139: Does being a horsehead, while we’re on the subject, count as a ‘lifestyle’?

In phrases

horseback decision (n.)

(US) a hasty decision.

[US]War Department Appropriation Bill for 1930 78: I made a horseback decision up there to put in these two collecting stations.
[US]L.M. Limpus Honest Cop 226: ‘All right, I don’t want any horseback decision. I don’t want you to give me any quick decision’.
on horseback (adj.)

carrying sufficient money to pay a fine or fee.

[UK]Satirist (London) 25 Nov. 384/2: I was at length relieved from further importunity by the interposition of the steward, and the fortunate circumstance of not having ‘come on horseback,’ a significant interpretation of being destitute of eighteen shillings for the immediate payment of fees '.
[UK]R. Nicholson Rogue’s Progress (1966) 125: I had come on horseback - that is, provided with the money to pay the fees.
red horse (n.)

(US) corned beef.

[US]I. Jackson Civil War Letters 28 June 185: Supper [...] is coffee & Red Hoss.
[US]J. Bowe With the 13th Minnesota in the Philippines 24 July 24: Of bean-soup, hard-tack, and red horse [...] we have had our fill.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 54: red-horse, n. Corned beef; also called horse.
[US]W.B. Ellington Co. ‘A’ 23rd Engineers 13 May 27: We have red horse and rice pudding for dinner.
take horse (v.)

(UK und.) to steal a purse.

A Perfect Narrative of the Robbery [etc] 38: That these kind of persons are reported to have a Canting Language amongst themselves; as when they say take Coach, is meant cut a Throat; take Horse, take a Purse; Mill a Gruntling, steal a Pigg, &c.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

horse apple (n.) (also apple, horse ball, ...bean, ...plum) [supposed resemblance]

a piece of horse manure found lying in the road.

[UK]Tinker of Turvey 8: If I fry not in my Brain-pan something or other that shall make them swallow a Horse-plum, say I’m no Pedlar.
[UK]Proceedings at Sessions (City of London) Dec. 25/2: Advert. for Dr. Bateman’s Pectoral Drops – It gives present Ease in the most racking Pains of the Gout and Rheumatism, they have brought away Gravel and Stones almost as big as Horse Beans from diverse Persons.
[UK]‘Grubstreticus’ Parody on the Rosciad 35: When the horse-t--d, pert and prim, / Exclaim’d – how well we apples swim!
[UK] ‘London Adulterations’ Universal Songster I 30: Other grocers for pepper sell trash call’d P.D. / And burnt horse beans for coffee.
[UK]M. Lemon Turf I iv: Somebody’s put a handful of horse-beans into my boot.
[UK]M. Lemon Railway Belle 10: I’ll let the world know how you make horse-beans do duty for coffee.
[US]Native Virginian (Orange Court House, VA) 15 May 1/5: I’ll Mrs. Sarah U. Horseapple a rock up your blame-taked nose ef yu come follin’ arfter me — I will, by Goney!
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 309: You see outside the fence there [...] horse-beans.
[US]Stallings & Anderson What Price Glory? I ii: What’s Cooper doing now? Boy, following the ponies, following the ponies. He’s out collecting apples.
[US] (ref. to 1868) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 65: Me walking around the sparrows fighting over fresh dropped horse apples.
[US]S. Kingsley Dead End Act I: It’s a dried up hawse-ball.
[US](con. 1944) A. Myrer Big War 333: Pills, which were the oval and the size of horse-beans.
[US]E. Gilbert Vice Trap 37: I won’t kick any horse apples down the street.
[NZ]R.M. Rogers Long White Cloud 37: What did you do at Cavendish – run horse apples through a test tube?
[US]S. King Christine 2: It was Arnie’s suggestion [...] that we sneak out one night and put a load of dried horseapples from the Route 17 Stables under the gross plastic horse on the lawn of the Libertyville Motel.
[UK]M. Rashid Good Horse is Never a Bad Color 171: He paused to look at the bottom of his boot, where a small horse apple had lodged itself .
[UK](con. 1940s) M. Frayn Spies 60: ‘Horse-apples.’ This is what my father calls horse manure, for some embarrassing, eccentric reason of his own.
[US]M. Gilmour Our Days in a Daze 70: This location was located next to their pet cemetery and outdoor riding arena, or might I be so bold as to say the outdoor horse apple depository!
[UK]M. Cahill Paradise Rediscovered 178: The horse apple does not fall far from the horse.
[US]T. Pluck Bad Boy Boogie [ebook] ‘The horse apple don’t fall far from the tree’.
horse-ass (adj.) [-ass sfx]

(US) stupid, incompetent.

[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 8: Huxley’s Whores had its gamblers, its tightfisted quartermaster, its horse-ass officers.
horse blanket (n.)

1. (US black, orig. milit.) an overcoat.

[US](con. 1898) E.S. O’Reilly Roving and Fighting 16: Why any man should be tempted into military life by ‘thirteen dollars and a horse blanket,’ was never explained .
[US]E. O’Brien One Way Ticket 25: Look at that stupid leatherneck [...] Twenty-one bucks and a horse blanket. He’s a big shot, so he smokes cigars.
[US](con. 1944) A. Lyon Toward an Unknown Station 74: Why don’t you get rid of your overcoat? You can’t keep up with that goddamn horse blanket on.
[US]Current Sl. I and II 53: Horse blanket, n. Cadet issue overcoat.
[US]C. Major Dict. Afro-Amer. Sl. 67: Horse blanket: (1940’s) an overcoat.

2. (US, also monkey blanket, saddle...) a griddle cake.

[US]V.W. Saul ‘Vocab. of Bums’ in AS IV:5 344: Saddle blankets—Hot cakes.
G. Williams Logger Talk 26: Monkey-blanket: a griddle cake.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 163: Saddle Blankets.–Griddle cakes.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]McCulloch Woods Words 89: Horse blankets...Flapjacks.
horse-capper (n.) [SE horse-coper, a horse dealer]

(US Und.) a dishonest horse-dealer.

[US]Matsell Vocabulum 43: horse-cappers Fellows that cheat simple people out of their money by the aid of a broken-down first-class horse.
horse-chaunter (n.) [chanter n. (3)]

a crooked horse dealer; thus horse chaunting, crooked horse dealing.

[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy I 236: A true orthodox farce of horse chaunting [note] a practice by no means uncommon among a certain description of dashing characters, who find chaunting a horse to a green one, [...] pay exceedingly well for these occasional dinner parties.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 13 Jan. 2/3: Maltby [...] who has long been known as a ‘horse chaunter’ was [...] charged with stealing two horses.
[UK]Out of Town I 272: Certainly dress is requisite to make up the character a person sustains; your flashman, mags-man, horse-chaunter, ring-random-man, hatchway-Jack, tilbury-trim, and all the other ‘fancy’characters, would be nothing without their appropriate dress.
[UK]Dickens Pickwick Papers (1999) 560: Oh, him! [...] he’d nothing exactly. he was a horse chaunter; he’s a leg now.
[UK]Devizes & Wilts Gaz. 15 Oct. 4/4: My lud, the cipher of horse chaunting is too valuable for me to communicate [...] if foreigners knew it, we should very soon have horse chaunters for Foreign Secretaries.
[UK]H. Mayhew Great World of London I 46: Swindlers, who cheat those of whom they buy; and duffers and horse-chanters, who cheat those to whom they sell.
[UK]H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor IV 24: ‘Duffers’ and ‘horse-chaunters,’ defrauding those to whom they sell.
[UK]Sheffield Indep. 21 Jan. 2/4: The horse chaunter often appears as a particularly guileless country bumpkin [...] the worn-out horse, consigned to the knacker’s yard, is reproduced as a stout animal.
[UK]Grantham Jrnl 11 Feb. 7/4: Having covered the ribs of the horse with the straws under the blanket, so as to make it appear in good condition, the horse chaunter led the horse [etc.].
[UK]Sl. Dict. 195: Horse chaunter a dealer who takes worthless horses to country fairs and disposes of them by artifice. He is generally an unprincipled fellow, and will put in a glass-eye, fill a beast with shot, plug him with ginger, or in fact do anything so that he sells to advantage.
[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 18 Feb. 8/5: Horse Chaunting [...] he dragged the fraudulent horse-chaunter before a court of justice.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 5: Horse Chaunters, or Duffers - Defrauders or those to whom they sell.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 1 Feb. 2/3: Since 1851 horse chaunting has been rampant.
[UK]Dly Gaz. for Middlesborough 22 Sept. 4/2: ‘What is your trade?’ ‘A horse chaunter yer vurship [...] Vell, that’s vat I call ’orse chaunting, some chaunts canals, and some chaunts railroads’.

see separate entries.


see separate entries.

horsecrap (n.) [crap n.1 (6)]

(US) nonsense; also as adj., second-rate.

[US]W. Saroyan Inhale & Exhale 184: They had him in their fancy parlors, talking their horsecrap, did they?
[UK]I, Mobster 101: ‘Crap!’ I said. ‘That’s what you got. Horse crap. Get wise to yourself, Frank.’.
[US]C. Faux Young Dogs 336: Don’t listen to him, les cousins, he’s talking horsecrap.
[US]P. Conroy Great Santini (1977) 62: Gone With the Wind was a real horsecrap movie.
[US]D. Ohio Finer Grain 76: A lot of it is horsecrap that I could do without.
[US]W.W. Johnstone Last Gunfighter: The Drifter 64: ‘Mother, I have been assaulted by a hoodlum. I am injured.’ ‘Oh, horsecrap!’ Frank said.
[US]M. Maske War without Death 254: he doesn’t let us lose despite playing like horsecrap for three quarters.
horse dookie (n.) [dookie n. (1)]

(US) nonsense.

[US]J. Yount Trapper’s Last Shot (1974) 78: ‘Horse dookie,’ he said, ‘I’m not talking about gambling, man.’.
[US]J. M. Anderson ‘Fellini’s Ego Trip’ Combustile Celluloid 🌐 The adoration the public had for Fellini is the only reason the great filmmaker was able to get away with making such a huge load of horse dookie.
horsefeathers (n.)

see separate entry.

horseflesh (n.) (also horse) [ult. SE phr. dead horse, anything that is beyond saving or use and cannot be revived. The work, which will bring in no further money, is no more use than a ‘dead horse’]

work that is charged for before it is actually done.

[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory III 122/1: (Printing) If any Journeyman set down in his Bill [...] more Work then he hath done that Week, that surplusage is called Horse Flesh.
[UK]P. Luckombe Conc. Hist. Printing 499: If any journeyman set down in his bill on Saturday night more work than he has done, that surplus is called Horse.
[Scot]C.K. Sharpe Correspondence (1888) I 18: His lordship in horse-flesh was apt to be cheated.
[UK]G. Crabb Universal Technology Dict. n.p.: Horse, is the surplusage of work which a journeyman printer sets down in his bill on Saturday night above what he has done, which he abates in his next bill. This was formerly called Horse-flesh.
horse-fly (n.) (also hoss-fly)

(US) a fellow.

[US]R. Carlton New Purchase II 239: Nothing like the Great-Grand-North-American-Republican Horse-Fly!
[US]W.C. Hall ‘Mike Hooter’s Bar Story’ Spirit of the Times 26 Jan. (N.Y.) 581: It was that feller Arch Cooly [...] Didn’t you know that ar’ hoss fly? He’s a few! well he is. Jewhilliken! how he could whip er nigger! and swar!! whew!
[US]Bloomfield Times (PA) 18 Mar. 2/3: You can’t come that game over us, old hoss-fly.
[US]J. O’Connor Broadway Racketeers 182: The D.A.’s are getting hep to the Racket, and horse flies and wised-up D.A.’s are hard to fool.

see separate entries.

horse godmother (n.)

a large masculine woman, ‘a gentlemanlike kind of lady’ (Grose, 1785).

[UK]Critical Rev. Mar. 196: The delicate fist of a great-horse-godmother of a he-midwife.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Ode Upon Ode’ Works (1794) I 438: In woman, angel sweetness let me see. No galloping horse-godmothers for me.
[UK]Letters from Eng. II 229: I have heard a woman of masculine appearance called a horse-godmother.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]S. Pegge Anecdotes of the Eng. Lang. 24: Not forgetting that a fat, clumsy, vulgar woman is jocularly termed a horse-godmother.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]New Mthly Mag. X 268: Did the reader ever meet with a supposed sort of woman, called a horse-godmother? Is he acquainted (as he very likely is) with other varieties of the species, yclept coarse-minded women, scolds, vixens, trollops, &c.
[UK]C. Selby Jacques Strop III i: What a couple of horse-godmothers!
[UK]Thackeray Vanity Fair II 223: Gad – you’ve a pretty face, too. You ain’t like that old horse-godmother, your mother.
[UK]N&Q 22 Nov. 410/1: ‘Horse- Godmother’ — In the north of England a coarse, masculine woman is called a ‘horse- godmother.’ What can be the origin of this singular combination?
[UK]E. Benson Ashcombe Churchyard III 49: She introduced me to a monster of a girl, almost as tall as myself — a great horse-godmother of a creature.
[UK]Sporting Life 11 July 2/4: Horse laughs show the pure ‘blue blood.’ Ditto does a ‘Horse-godmother’.
horse hockey (n.) (also horse frocky) [hockie n. (2)]

(US) nonsense.

[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 152: ‘Horse frocky,’ said Pvt Readall Treadwell.
[US]‘Tom Pendleton’ Iron Orchard (1967) 136: That ain’t horse-hockey neither!
[US]E. Shepard Doom Pussy 21: There sure is a lot of horse hockey in the papers about pickets.
[US]New Yorker 11 Aug. 🌐 His buddy was amped up, though, claiming his friend hadn’t done anything. I shot back that was horse hockey—yes, he had.
horse joint (n.) [joint n. (3b)]

(US Und.) a bookmaker’s ‘office’.

[US]C.R. Cooper Here’s To Crime 160: If, however, he runs a horse joint, which operates through any of the seven or eight big gangs which have split major control of the United States between them, he is a gang commissioner instead of a betting commissioner.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 114: Each horse joint cost him $15 a month to sergeants.
[US]E. Currie Moses Supposes 171: She considers describing the horse joint to Hector. It is the dismal upstairs restaurant area of an offtrack betting parlor.
horse kiss (n.) [the image is of a horse’s mouth, with large teeth and lips]

a rough, heavy kiss.

[UK]J. Ray Proverbs (2nd edn) 74: An horse-kiss. A rude kiss, able to beat one’s teeth out.
horse leech (n.) [ult. ref. to SE horse-leech, a sucking worm]

1. (also leach) a quack doctor [SE horse-leech, a veterinary surgeon].

[UK]Nashe Terrors of the Night in Works III (1883–4) 229: If he haue learned Phisitions he must not fauor horse-leaches and mountebanks.
[UK] Nashe ‘Tom Nash his Ghost’ Works I (1883–4) lxix: To the three scurvy Fellowes of the vpstart Family of the Snufflers, Rufflers and Shufflers; [...] Persecutors, the States 3 Hors-leeches.
[UK]W. Kennett ‘Armour’ in Potent Ally 4: Now no Relief, but from the Surgeon’s Hand, / Or Pill-prescribing-Leach.
[UK]Sporting Life 11 July 2/4: Horse-leech; you may swim at ease, / And smile at all the similes.

2. a general term of abuse.

[UK]Greene Quip for an Upstart Courtier C2: He is the spoile of young Gentlemen a blood sucker of the poore, as thrifty as a horse leach.
[UK]Dekker Honest Whore Pt 1 II i: O, a pure beagle; that horse-leach there?
[UK]Jonson Bartholomew Fair II iii: You are one of those horse-leeches that gave out I was dead.
[UK]R. Perrot Jacob’s Vow 65: Monopolists, that hellish brood of state-horsleatches, sucked out almost the very hearts of the subjects purses.
[UK]S. Marmion Fine Companion I vii: Horseleaches, doe you know what you say?
[UK]Four for a Penny 5: We may reasonably conclude, that these Horse-leeches make Cent. per Cent. at least of their Mony in a year.
[UK]E. Hickeringill Priest-Craft I 14: The Popes have been in several Ages the great Horse-Leaches, and Blood suckers, and have occasion’d the Murther of Millions of Men.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 18 Mar. 1/1: The Premier’s simile of ‘Tommy Walker’ being a descendant of the horse leech is both unscriptural and unsavory.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 194: You foul-mouthed, squalid, gambling horse-leech.
[US]H. Kephart Our Southern Highlanders (1922) 146: Thae curst horse-leeches o’ the Excise / What mak the whisky stills their prize! [...] Seize the blinkers! (wretches) / And bake them up in brunstane [sic] pies.
[US](con. mid-19C) S. Longstreet Wilder Shore 72: A mob of loafers, miners in for a spree, wheelrights, horseleeches and others.

3. a prostitute.

[UK]J. Hall Virgidemiarum (1599) Bk IV 71: An hors-leech, barren womb, and gaping graue.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 182: He is [...] ‘doing in’ his health and his brass with the daughters of the horse-leech.
horseman (n.)

see separate entry.

horse manure (n.) [euph.]

(US) nonsense, rubbish; also as excl.

[UK]Hall & Niles One Man’s War (1929) 305: Everyone thinks he’s a sure-nuf Pasha, which is really just horse-manure. He was born near Marseilles.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 129: I sez to me ole man, ‘Yer full of condensed horse manure if you think I’m gonna stan’ fer that.’.
[US]J. Weidman I Can Get It For You Wholesale 48: The blow must have cleared the horse manure out of his head.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 103: If you will pardon me [...] that is just pure Argentine horse manure.
[US]E. Hunter Blackboard Jungle 21: Solly Klein had been to Organizational Meetings before [...] And in his own words, they were all just so much horse manure.
[US]C. Himes Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 87: Do you believe any of that horse manure?
[US]J. Ciardi A Second Browser’s Dict. 179: Horse manure! Nonsense.
[US]F. Kellerman Stalker (2001) 469: He had plans so we wouldn’t think he was a total con man. Of course it was horse manure.
[Ire]P Howard Braywatch 70: ‘You say rugby brought shame on this school? I say that’s focking horse manure’.
horse marine (n.) [trad. sailors’ disdain for the poor seamanship of the Royal Marines; a ‘horse marine’ is an impossibility]

an awkward person.

[Scot]W. Scott St Ronan’s Well II 197: What the devil has a ship to do with horse’s furniture? — Do you think we belong to the horse-marines – ha! ha!
[US]O.W. Holmes Sea Dial. 45: Belay y’r jaw, y’ swab! y’ hoss-marine!
[UK] ‘Do You Really Think She Did?’ Rootle-Tum Songster 69: There sat my spouse with her arm round the neck of a horse-marine!
[UK] ‘Captain Jinks’ [broadside ballad] I’m Captain Jinks of the Horse-Marines [F&H].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Mar. 3/1: A female ‘hoss-marine,’ who has two seats reserved for her at the Patti concerts brings with her every evening a caput mortuum in the shape of a tall, ugly, thick-set person.
[US]Dly Bulletin (Honolulu, HI) 2 Nov. 3/4: The horse marine Cap said that ‘the heditor did not not know what ee was talking about’.
[UK]Lloyd’s Wkly Newspaper 27 Nov. 16/1: That horse-marine cook of his.
[UK]Sporting Times 10 Feb. 2/5: Sea cook’s son, son of a gun, son of a horse-marine, / Type of a carping renegade, with nothing good to say.
horse-nails (n.) [SE horse-nail, a nail used to secure a horseshoe]


[UK]Cambridge Indep. Press 4 Dec. 2/7: ‘The horsenails,’ as bags of sovereigns are called in electioneering dialect.
[UK]Dickens ‘Slang’ in Household Words 24 Sept. 75/2: Money – the bare, plain, simple word itself [...] might have sufficed, yet we substitute for it – [...] ready, mopusses, shiners, dust, chips, chinkers, pewter, horsenails, brads.
[US]S.F. Call 26 Mar. n.p.: [He] Went to fight the furious tiger, / Went to fight the beast at faro, / And was cleaned out so completely / That he lost his every mopus, / Every single speck of pewter, / Every solitary shiner, / Every brad and every dollar [...] All the dibs he did discover, / All the browns his uncle lent him, / All the chips and dust and clinkers, / All the dimes and all the horse-nails.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 37: Horse Nails, money.
[UK]Essex Newsman 11 May 3/2: Horsenails, nobbings (money collected in a hat by street performers).
horse opera (n.)

1. (US) a show featuring trained horses.

[US]Washoe Herald 2 July 3/1: Those fond of ‘horse opera’—and who is not?—will have an opportunity to gratify themselves—by visiting the Pavilion [DA].
[US]J. Weidman What’s In It For Me? 120: They finally decided to close up that horse opera you been horsing around in.
[US]N. Davis Sally’s in the Alley 83: ‘Ever heard of Gower Gulch?’ ‘You mean the place where all the horse opera cowboys hang out?’.

2. (orig. US, also gun opera, hoss opry) a Western, whether on film or television [on model of soap opera n.].

[US]Collier’s 11 June 23/1: I am fed up on makin’ these gun-opera serials [DA].
[US]Motion Pic. Classic 2 July 26/1: Horse Opera [...] is an opus of the West where men are cowboys [OED].
[US]J.P. McEvoy Hollywood Girl 200: It will be some out of the way place where they specialize in horse opera.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘Pat Hobby’s Christmas Wish’ in Pat Hobby Stories (1967) 26: He had been hired to script an old-fashioned horse opera.
[US]W. Winchell 27 Sept. [synd. col.] Tom Keane, seen in the hoss-operas.
[US]Green & Laurie Show Biz from Vaude to Video 569: Hoss opry – Western film.
[US]Mad mag. Sept.–Oct. 20: The ‘adult’ horse operas are falling out of favour.
[US]Appleton Post-Crescent (WI) 9 Mar. 71/1: He spent hours watching Hollywood horse operas – ‘I saw every movie John Wayne ever made.’.
[US]G.W. Linden Reflections on the Screen 275: The musical, the horse opera, the soap opera, the gangster, science fiction, and horror films are [...] converted into blockbusters.
[UK]T. White Catch a Fire 223: Tripping down to the Odeon or the Bijou to catch the latest Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef horse operas.
[US] in S.K. Roe Audiovisual Cataloging Current 281: Horse opera, slang for a Western movie, usually applied to a standard B picture. Also known as ‘horse opry,’ [or] ‘oater’.

3. in attrib. use of sense 2.

[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Phoney Shakedown’ Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Feb. 🌐 Walt Monroe, the retired horse opera star.
horse-pad (n.)

(UK Und.) a highwayman.

[UK]Hell Upon Earth 3: The Horse-Pads too, come in pritty thick.
[UK]J. Hall Memoirs (1714) 5: Horse-Pads, Such as rob in the Highway on Horseback.
horse piss (n.) [piss n. (3a)]

(US) weak coffee or weak beer; any unpleasant tasting food.

[[UK]W. Chamberlayne Love’s Victory 22: 1 tra.: Come neighbours, shal’s crack each one’s our Kan. [...] 2 tra.: Our Kans, hang the muddle horsedrench, Let’s drink each of us our groat square off. Brisk sack, this forain liquor be but Adulterates our blouds].
[US]S. Longstreet Decade 146: You think the punks will want that horse-piss?
[US]B. Appel Tough Guy [ebook] ‘That hoss piss he calls beer!’.
[UK]J. Reynolds Woman of Bangkok (1959) 44: Eat your horse-piss if you want, but give me a rare-done beef-steak.
[US] (ref. 1942) S.B. Griffith Battle for Guadalcanal (2000) 5: They [...] drank hair tonic in preference to post exchange beer (‘horse piss’), [...] and never went to chapel (‘the God-box’) unless forced to.
[UK]C. Dexter Last Bus to Woodstock 34: ‘’Nother one before you go, Bernard?’ ‘Thanks, no. I’ve had just enough of that horse piss for one night.’.
[Can]C. Gerson Vancouver Short Stories 154: Pete took a big gulp. Jesus, Pete gasped, the beer’s off! Terrible horsepiss, isn’t it, said Wacker.
[US](con. 1940s) C. Bram Hold Tight (1990) 71: That horse piss you people call beer.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 98: Not only was it horsepiss – he would convey the term back to Leeds, as a more graphic synonym for catpiss – but it was warm horsepiss by now.
horse player (n.)

(US) a person who bets on horseracing.

[US]Dearborn Indep. 14 May 2/2: Once a horse player, always a horse player, is an old axiom.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Dream Street Rose’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 47: Horse players, who sit on the church steps [...] and dream about big killings on the races.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 125: The same harassed-looking clientele of unlucky horse players [...] and managers of derelict prize fighters.
[US]R. Prather Scrambled Yeggs 58: ‘This Eddie, he’s quite a horse-player, huh?’ ‘He claims he’s got a system, now.’.
[US]V. Lopez Lopez Speaking 121: By avocation Al was an amateur horse player, and a good friend of ‘Action’ Klein, a reformed bookmaker.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 89: You know how it is with horseplayers, you hit it hot and you think it’s all over.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 8: It was a gathering place for horseplayers, lawyers, bookies, handicappers.
[US]B. Conrad Martini: An Illus. Hist. 91: It is my belief there is only one form of life lower than a horse player. That’s a horse player who also drinks Martinis.
[US]L. Spatz Bad Bill Dahlen 35: Years later, Dahlen, a fellow horse-player, reminisced about taking advantage of Anson’s habit.
horse-pox (n.)

an especially severe strain of venereal disease, esp. as used in excl.

[UK]‘Basilius Musophilus’ Don Zara Del Fogoy 164: The great, the fruitful, and the barren, With a Hors-pox and a Murren. Lead on and weep till ye are blind.
[UK]Dryden Sir Martin Mar-all IV i: Leave off your winking and your pinking, with a horse-pox t’ye .
[UK]J. Eachard (trans.) Plautus’s Comedies Pref. a 3: Out-a-doors, I say: Come out. I’ll fetch ye out with a Horse-pox, for a damnable, prying, nine-ey’d Witch.
horse pucky (n.) [puckey n.]

(US) nonsense; also as excl. and adj.

[US]J. Stanley World War III (1979) 176: ‘It’s an old legend, Sarge.’ ‘Legend. Scuttlebutt, you mean. Horse pucky.’.
[US]M. Davidson Thursday Woman 74: All this other stuff is just so much horse-pucky.
[US]C.T. Westcott Half a Klick 158: Horse pucky....You goin’ hippie on me! [HDAS].
[US]E. Wood My Heart Can Hear You 48: Millie, that’s not horse pucky, that’s bull biscuits.
[US]J. Welzen Gutsy Stomach Walker 173: [He] thinks up some ‘horse pucky’ story about how my accident happened.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 241: Let’s cut the horse puckey.
horse radish (n.) [euph.]

(US) nonsense; also as excl.

[UK](con. 1917–18) J.M. Saunders Wings (1928) 181: ‘Horse-radish,’ said Johnny roughly. [...] ‘That’s a lot of horse-radish.’.
[US]D.M. Garrison ‘Song of the Pipeline’ in Botkin Folk-Say 106: ‘Don’t talk about no jackrabbits, give me a bear, or a lion, or a —’ ‘Horse-radish.’.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 33: horseradish. Another everyday relish, similar (semantically) to applesauce.
horse room (n.) (also horse parlour)

(US) a bookmaking establishment.

[US]State Trooper 7-8 14/3: N old-fashioned horse room, with placards on the wall showing all information the dyed-in-the-wool follower of the ponies wants.
[US]Report of Mass. Attorney General’s Office 7: Crime anywhere unsuppressed by local police, — such as lotteries, horse-room pools, slot machines, bootlegging and gaming.
[US]C. Poletti Reports of the Constitutional Convention Com. 457: The local poolroom or horse room is a thing to be deplored in any community.
[US]J. Evans Halo For Satan (1949) 83: Louie Antuni, referred to also as the Big Guy [...] the prince of horse parlours, the potentate of pimps.
[US]‘Toney Betts’ Across the Board 137: Baltimore in wartime was an open city with horse-rooms and wire-offices.
[US]Hearings on Gambling and Organized Crime in US Congress 287: This [...] transports some of the atmosphere of the track to the horse room or betting establishment.
[US]P. Silvers Man who was Bilko 66: The next morning as usual we start to the horse room, and Marvin Harmon [...] bets his usual.
[US]W.F. Whyte Participant Observer 101: Some men broke into his horse room one afternoon, held it up, and took all the money from the customers and from Tony.
[US]M. Opsasnick Cultural Badlands Tour 97: The horse room was equipped with six betting windows and a giant tote board and always paid off track odds.
horse’s ass (n.)

see separate entry.

horse’s collar (n.) [rhy. sl. = dollar n.1 (1)]

(Aus.) five shillings.

[Aus]Tweed Dly (Murwillumbah, NSW) 18 Jan. 7/5: ‘Yer know wot ti want! I want five bob in the guts! [...] I wanter norse’s collar in the guts!’.
horse’s hangdown (n.) [SE hangdown, i.e. the animal’s penis, on the model of prick n. (3)]

a fool, an idiot.

[US]G.V. Higgins Rat on Fire (1982) 10: And like the horses’ hang-down that I am, I get myself shitfaced.

see separate entries.


see separate entries.

horse’s neck (n.)

1. (orig. US) ginger ale flavoured with lemon peel, with or without whisky, brandy or gin [ety. unknown].

[US]‘C.E. Merriman’ in Letters from a Son etc. 177: A tin wash-boiler filled with what they call here ‘horse’s neck’, a savage compound of whiskey and hard cider, occupied the place of honor.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Sept. 44/2: Drinks in America cost only 10 cents, so he can have 10 ‘widow’s kisses’ or ‘horses’ necks,’ or whatever brand of cocktail he sustains life with.
[UK]T. Burke Nights in Town 393: At the American end of the bar [...] drinking Horse’s Necks, Maiden’s Prayers, Mother’s Milks, Manhattans, and Scotch Highballs.
[US]A. Baer Two & Three 19 Mar. [synd. col.] Trying to make both ends meet without the help of a mint julep or a horse’s neck.
[US]Rocky Mountain News 30 Apr. 8/2: Don’t paper the walls of a cocktail lounge with exotic flower prints, but pictures of horses’ necks, side cars [DA].
[US]E. Stephens Blow Negative! 282: In L.A. we mix horse’s neck with imported brandy.

2. (US) a fool, an idiot, a general term of abuse [partial euph. for horse’s ass n.].

[UK]R. Carr Rampant Age 11: Come on, Buck, yuh ole horse’s neck!
[US]F. Nebel ‘Take It and Like It’ in Ruhm Hard-Boiled Detective (1977) 107: Old Nonsplit Tom Flannery, the great horse’s neck.
[US]W. Winchell ‘On Broadway’ 17 Mar. [synd. col.] To which we replied ‘Of course the horse named ‘Ben Bernie’ showed the horse named ‘Walter’ the way home. The horse named ‘Walter’ wanted to see what another horse’s neck looked like!!!’.
[US]Kober & Uris In Meantime, Darling [film script] The skipper must think I’m a horse’s neck [HDAS].
[US] Impeachment Inquiry: hearings Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, US Congress 2258: I may be a horse’s neck, but I am not a hypocrite.
[US]J. Lenburg Scared to Death 36: You can be a horse’s neck when you want to, can’t you.
horse’s necklace (n.)

(Aus. prison) the hangman’s noose.

[Aus]‘Price Warung’ Tales of the Early Days 108: ‘You know I can inflict penalties upon you for refusing to answer my plain interrogatory?’ ‘Short o’ puttin’ me into an ’oss’ necklace yer can, sir.’.
horse’s nightcap (n.)

the cap pulled over the condemned man’s head before his death; thus the noose itself; thus die in a horse’s nightcap v., to be hanged.

[UK]‘Philip Foulface’ Bacchus’ Bountie in Harleian Misc. II (1809) 304: Yea, his very head so heavie as if it had beene harnessed in an horse-nightcap.
[UK]Pennyless Parliament of Thread-Bare Poets in Harleian Misc. III (1809) 72: It is lawful for those women [...] to chide, as well as they that drink small-beer all the winter; and those that clip, that they should not, shall have a horse night-cap, for their labour .
[UK]J. Taylor ‘Taylors Motto’ in Works (1869) II 44: Is any man offended? marry gep / With a horse nightcap, doth your Iadeship skip?
[UK]Dialogue Between Sam, Ferry-man etc. Upon a Parliament at Oxford in Harleian Misc. II (1809) 125: He better deserves to go up Holbourn in a wooden chariot, and have a horse night-cap put on at the farther end.
[UK]N. Ward ‘A Trip to Jamaica’ Writings (1704) 156: A Psalm, which our Canonical Vice-Whippers Sung with as Penitential a Grace as a Sorrowful Offender in his Last Night-Cap.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: To dance at the sheriff’s ball, and loll out one’s tongue at the company; to be hanged, or go to rest in a horse’s night-cap, i.e. a halter.
[UK] ‘Bad Half-pence’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 241: A pair of as pretty babes in the wood as ever grinn’d thro’ a horse’s night cap.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 137: It may teach you a lesson that may keep you out of the clutches of Jock Ketch, and save you from dying in a horse’s night-cap.
[UK]Hereford Times 28 Aug. 4/4: S’help me tatur, my lord, and may I be spiflicated and die in a horse’s nightcap [...] if we didn’t kill more nor two hundred on ’em.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 51: HORSE’S NIGHTCAP, a halter; ‘to die in a horse’s nightcap,’ to be hung.
[Aus]Melbourne Punch ‘City Police Court’ 3 Oct. 234/1: The Mayor.– Prisoner at the bar [...] you are done for a ramp. I’ve queer’d your pitch and crab’d your game: and take care you don’t die in a horse’s night cap.
[UK]N. Devon Jrnl 8 Feb. 7/2: [from The Echo] Even an attempt is made to lighten the horror of the climax of a criminal career by speaking of dying in a horse’s night-cap, i.e., a halter.
[Aus]Oakleigh Leader (Nth Brighton, Vic.) 3 Sept. 45/5: Thieves [...] don’t like to hear of a man being hanged. He goes for a ‘hearty choke with caper sauce’ or he ‘goes up the laddder to bed’ or he ‘dies in a horse’s nightcap, i.e. a halter.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.
[US]L. Pound ‘Amer. Euphemisms for Dying’ in AS XI:3 200: Die in a horse’s nightcap.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[UK]P. Hoskins No Hiding Place! 190/2: Horse’s Nightcap. Hangman’s noose.
horse’s patoot (n.) (also horse’s patootie) [partial euph. for horse’s ass n.]

(US) a fool, an idiot, a general term of abuse.

J. Weidman Lights around the Shore 54: You, you overgrown little horse’s patoot, you have the crust, the nerve, the gall, to sit there fiddling with the stem of a wrist watch.
[US](con. 1943–5) A. Murphy To Hell and Back (1950) 33: You horse’s patoot, pass over my dough.
[US]A. Jenks Second Chance 548: ‘You think he’s a horse’s patoot, don’t you?’ Captain Fitch asked.
[US]J. Weidman Back Talk 148: I followed more slowly, [...] telling myself severely to stop being what my own father, when I was a boy, used to call a horse’s patoot.
[US]F.F. Manfred Green Earth 276: All right, have it your way then, Daise, you darn stubborn horse’s patoot you.
[US]‘Joe Bob Briggs’ Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In 160: Bad sign when you start to act like a horse’s patoot and you still don’t know where you woke up this morning.
[US]J. Evanovich Two for the Dough 224: Well, I thought, it could be worse. I could still be married to Dickie Orr, the horse’s patoot.
[US]B. Barton Sugar & Spice 43: ‘A horse’s patoot?’ Gus reared back. ‘I was going to be a little more blunt and say a horse’s ass’.
horse thief (n.)

(US) a dishonest person.

[US]News & Herald (Winnisboro, SC) 10 Sept. 2/2: Now let the old mudslinger call us a bald-headed horse thief if he dares.
[US]Eve. Chronicle (Virginia City) 10 June in M. Lewis Mining Frontier (1967) 201: ‘Speakin’ of horse racin’, said Jailer Birdsall last evening [...] ‘I had my dose an’ I’m a horsethief if I haven’t kept it dark for eighteen years.’.
[US]B. Tarkington Gentleman from Indiana 264: ‘It’s the old horse-thief!’ John murmered, tremulously.
[US]A. Berkman Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (1926) 178: Hey, there, Horsethief, quit that!
[US]B. Traven Death Ship 147: ‘Not true, sir,’ The horse-thief addressed the skipper.
[US]S. Longstreet Decade 213: ‘Hello, you old horse thief,’ said the Old One.
[US](con. 1920s) G.M. Foster Pops Foster 100: Louis never did get nothin’ for it. Clarence was a real horse thief.
[US]Graziano & Corsel Somebody Down Here Likes Me, Too 210: How you like that address for an old horse thief?
horse thief special (n.)

(US) rice with raisins.

[US]Great Bend Trib. (KS) 2 July 3/4: Rice has a lot of names [...] if it has raisins in it, it becomes ‘spotted pup’ [or] ‘horse thief special’.
horse tranquilizer (n.) (also pig tranquilizer) [the legitimate use of the drug as an animal tranquillizer]

(drugs) phencyclidine.

[US]H. Feldman et al. Angel Dust 124: The large number of street names it has been accorded over the years: [...] pig and horse tranquilizer.
[US]D.E. Miller Bk of Jargon 338: horse tranquilizer: PCP.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 12: Horse tranquilizer — PCP.
horsewoman (n.) [they ‘ride’ their partner]

a masculine lesbian.

[[UK]Nocturnal Revels 2 235: [of heterosexual ‘riding’] Lady L—r is learning the Manege à la St. George with her Groom, to recover her skill in horsewomanship].
[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 22: horsewoman (n.): The aggressive, masculine lesbian; used mostly by heterosexuals to describe the ‘horsey’ masculine clothing and gait of this type of lesbian.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 147: From them she might pick up and more to startle than identify with her sisters use words and expressions such as [...] horsewoman (he-she or butch bitch).

In phrases

...and the horse you rode in on (also ...and the camel you rode in on, ...the cow you rode in on) [Wild West imagery]

(US) a dismissive, antagonistic phr., the pfx fuck you! excl. is used or unspoken.

(ref. to 1956) A. Dubus Lieutenant 6: ‘...on or about 14 November 1956 use disrespectful language [...] to wit ‘Fuck you and and the horse you rode in on, Mac’.
[[US]J. Crumley One to Count Cadence (1987) 45: Fuck you, Mavaho, and your pinto pony too].
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle 92: ‘Fuck you lady,’ he said, ‘and the horse you rode in on.’.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 188: For Christ’s sake [...] fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Tough shit, bub.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 219: You looking old, Rule said. Eastland grinned. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, pardner.
[US]Rants & Revelations 18 June [blog] So fuck you,, and the horse you rode in on too.
[US] N. Flexner Disassembled Man [ebook] I said something to him in French: Fuck you and the cow you rode in on.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 217: She said, ‘Fuck you and the camel you rode in on’.
horse of another colour (n.) [SE by 20C+]

a very different topic.

[[UK]R. L’Estrange Dissenters Sayings 4: That Horse of Superstition [...] is slain under him, and now he is mounted upon a Fresh Horse of another Colour called Liberty of OPINION].
[US]Aurora (Phila.) 27 Aug. n.p.: Whether any of them may be induced [...] to enter into the pay of King John I. [i.e. President Adams] is ‘a horse of another colour’.
[US]G. Griffin Collegians II. xxii. 160: ‘I never tought o’ dat,’ said Danny. ‘Dat’s a horse of anoder colour.’.
[UK]C. Reade It Is Never Too Late to Mend I 47: A gentleman is a horse of another colour than this Robinson.
[UK]Trollope Chronicle Barset I. xxiv. 216: What did you think of his wife? That’s a horse of another colour altogether.
[UK]Sheffield Indep. 23 Dec. 15/1: ‘Oh, that’s a horse of another colour entirely,’ was the landlady’s observation.
play horse with (v.)

1. (US campus) to ridicule, to tease.

[US]St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 3 Dec. 17/7: ‘To play horse with’ is to treat like a child.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 92: Do you think I’m goin’ out ridin’ with her and have a lot o’ cheap skates stoppin’ to play horse with her?
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 49: play horse with, v. 1.To ridicule or make sport of. 2. To tease or annoy.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Reformation of Calliope’ Heart of the West 311: I’ll drop the tanglefoot and the gun play, and won’t play hoss no more .
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Men, Big World 67: I wish you’d stop playing horse, Ark. This is serious.

2. (US) to indulge in horseplay.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 57: Mame’s mother tried to jolly the crowd up by playin’ horse with Tommy.
[US]S. Crane in Metropolitan Mag. Feb. in Stallman (1966) 208: It’s dead slow [...] I’ll never come East again, expecting to play horse. I’ll do my flying in Chicago.
[US]Van Loan ‘Excess Baggage’ in Score by Innings (2004) 405: I’ll teach you to play horse with my ball club!
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Men, Big World 121: Would have been better if Leon and the Mover had got acquainted; then Leon wouldn’t have been so anxious to play horse.

3. (US campus) to overcome easily; to confuse.

[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 49: play horse with, v. 4. To overcome easily. 5. To confuse.
talk horse (v.)

to boast, to ‘talk big’.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 25 Aug. 25/1: Just imagine all that, and then in addition, while you were talking horse, a piebald crowd of engineers started laying down railways and telegraphs, which you were compelled to use, while all the profits went to a foreign – say Dutch – gang of robbers.
water one’s horse (v.)

(US) to urinate.

[UK]Never Let Go [film script] P. Sellers [moves towards lavatory]: I go to water the horse.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 52: ‘Christ!’ exclaims Smokey, ‘I gotta water my horse.’.
wouldn’t that tie your horse

(US) a phr. of mild exasperation or surprise, isn’t that amazing/infuriating.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ I’m from Missouri 35: ‘Well, wouldn’t that tie your horse,’ I yelled.

In exclamations