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Horse What
 By Winniefield Park   •   20th Jul 2017   •   855 views   •   0 comments
Horse What

Ever heard of a horse this or that and wondered how it got its name. What do horse beans, marines and chestnuts have to do with horses? Here’s a look.

Horse Marines
I'm Captain finks of the Horse Marines, I feed my horse on pork and beans.' is from an old musical play. The real horse marines were cavalry soldiers that ended up working on ships.

Horse Beans
If you were really hungry, you might eat horse beans. These are a variety of broad, faba or fava beans that are grown as animal fodder. Instead of just harvesting the beans, the whole plant was cut and fed to livestock. Goats, cattle, and pigs can eat these beans. but it's probably best not to feed them to horses.

Horse Chestnut
A horse chestnut is a type of tree but isn't actually a chestnut tree. The leaves have multiple stems, with palm shaped leaflets. In the spring, they have white and pink or yellow branches of flowers. These flowers grow into prickly nuts. This tree is called a horse chestnut because it was thought to be a chestnut tree and it was thought the nuts were toxic to horses. Also, if you break off a leaf the base is horseshoe shaped, something pointed out to me as a kid, as an explanation of the tree's name.

Horse Latitudes
Lines of latitude go in circles around the earth, parallel to the equator, which is 0 degrees latitude. Horse latitudes are the lines between 30 and 38 degrees. There are three different explanations why these latitudes are called horse latitudes. The first is that once reaching these areas, the ship's sailors, paid in advance would run through their money are require an advance until the next pay-called dead horse time. By the time they reached the horse latitudes, they would have worked the advance off and celebrated the end of dead horse time.

Another theory is that this is the area where ships traveling from Europe would become becalmed, slowing the traveling time which resulted in water shortages. To conserve water, dead or sick horses and other livestock were thrown overboard.

And yet another theory is that a becalmed ship was said to be 'horsed' - or carried as if on horseback. None of these explanations sound very satisfactory to me.

Horseradish
Horseradish is a vegetable that has roots that are ground up and used as a condiment. The word 'horse' was regarded as indicating coarse or strong, as the flavor of the vegetable is quite pungent and sharp.

Dark Horse
A dark horse is a person or situation that arises quite unexpectedly. The phrase is thought to have started with the famous author Disraeli, whose character attends a horse race in which an unnoticed horse wins.

Charlie Horse
If you have experienced a Charlie or charley horse, you'll know how painful this muscle cramping can be. The word may have nothing to do with horses. It may be from the nickname of a baseball player in the late 1880s 'Old Hoss' Charley Radbourne who suffered from cramping during a game. Or it may be from the lame horse Charley who helped pull equipment to groom the Chicago White Socks field... poor Charley.

Horse Mackerel
A horse mackerel is a type of fish. It gets its name from a legend that claims that small fish could ride on its back. Another fish, the Horse-Eyed Jack has large eyes which may be why it earned its name.

Horse Tails
The horse tail is an interesting group of plants because they are considered living fossil. They got their name of course because they are somewhat similar to a real horse's tail. The scientific name is Equisetum, which means horse bristle.

Stalking Horse Offer
This is a financial term. A stalking horse offer is a bid on a bankrupt property that can help the seller set a fair minimum price when the property is sold. The term comes from the practice of using animals, rather than humans to flush out game when hunting. The game would be less fearful of the animals, and allow the hunters to get nearer. Some horses were trained for this purpose and sometimes a hide would be used as a disguise.

Horse Tailed Squirrel
There are lots of different types of squirrels. The horse tailed squirrel of Thailand, Borneo, and Sumatra. We can only guess that they were so named because of their long-haired tail.

Shaving Horse, Stitching Horse
Seems like if it has four legs, it can be a horse. A shaving horse is a tool that the user sits on that holds wood for shaving and shaping, such as chair spindles and farm tool handles. A stitching horse has a seat for the user, with a vice-like device in front. A pommel horse is, of course, used in gymnastic sports. the original pommel or side horse was used by soldiers to practice mounting and dismounting.
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