Apart from dogs, the British love horses so it’s no surprise that there are so many idioms associated to this majestic animal.

I’ve decided to concentrate on those idioms that are also used in a business context.

1. A Dark Horse (British) – someone who doesn’t reveal their hidden talents and surprises people when they discover them
1. A Dark Horse(英式英语)——黑马,隐藏的才能被发现后让人们大吃一惊的人

Jean is a dark horse, isn’t she? All these months we thought she was quietly working in the back office when in actual fact she was writing a bestselling novel.

2. Closing the Stable Door After the Horse Has Bolted (Escaped) - Trying to stop something bad from happening when it has already happened and cannot be changed
2. Closing the Stable Door After the Horse Has Bolted (Escaped)——想要阻止坏事发生,但已经太迟了

Introducing tighter security measures after the break in seems to me like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

3. To Drive a Coach and Horses Through Something – to expose the weak points or gaps in an argument
3. To Drive a Coach and Horses Through Something——在争议中暴露弱点或漏洞

The CFO drove a coach and horses through the company’s plans for expansion.

4. To Beat (also to flog) a Dead Horse – to waste time doing something that has already been done
4. To Beat (also to flog) a Dead Horse——在已经发生的事上浪费时间

Do you think It’s worth me writing to a few more recruitment agencies, or am I just beating a dead horse?

5. To Get off Your High Horse - to stop acting as if you are better or more intelligent than other people
5. To Get off Your High Horse——不再表现得像是你比别人更好、更聪明

“If you would get off your high horse for one minute and listen to your colleagues, you would find that they have some great ideas for this project”.

6. Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse (Proverb) – Do not do things in the wrong order. It implies that someone is impatient.
6. Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse —不要本末倒置,做事顺序不要颠倒。暗指某人不耐烦。

There’s no point trying to write the report when you haven’t got a clear idea of what to write. You don’t want to put the cart before the horse.

7. To Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth (Usually with a negative) – to be ungrateful to someone who gives you something
7. To Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth(通常用否定形式)——对别人给你的东西挑三拣四


“I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I would accept that promotion”.

8. Horses for Courses – something you say to mean that it is important to choose the right people with the suitable skills to do a chosen activity
8. Horses for Courses——意思是挑选有匹配才干的合适人选做特定的活动十分重要

“Ah well, it’s horses for courses. Just because he is an IT expert doesn’t mean that he is an expert in everything to do with computers”.

9. To Get It Straight From the Horse’s Mouth – to get information directly from the original source
9. To Get It Straight From the Horse’s Mouth——从信息源直接得到信息,一手信息

Keith: “Where did you hear about the takeover?” Peter: “I got it straight from the horse’s mouth.”

10. To Back the Wrong Horse - to support someone or something that cannot win or succeed
10. To Back the Wrong Horse——站错队,支持了不可能成功的人或事

Oh well, I guess we should have known that this marketing campaign wouldn’t work. We just backed the wrong horse this time.