Ep049: Expression – To Hold Your Horses

In this episode I explain another idiom that involves animals, “To hold your horses”, which is said when asking someone to be patient, to wait, to hold on.

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hold your horses, aussie english

Ep049: Expression – To Hold Your Horses

G’day guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today is yet again one more idiom, phrase, expression using animals, or related to animals.

So, today’s phrase is going to be the idiom or the expression “To hold your horses,” “To hold your horses.” What does “to hold your horses” mean? It means to be patient, to wait, or to hold on. So, “Hold your horses, mate!” it just means, “Can you hold on? Can you wait for a minute, for a sec? Can you be patient?” you know, “Relax for a moment, and wait”. I’ll explain the different words in this phrase as usual.

So, “To hold”. It’s a verb. “To hold”. If you hold something you grasp, you grip, you can carry it, you keep it, you detain it. So, if you hold someone you’re detaining them or you’re picking them up. If you hold something, you know, like a tool, you’re grasping it you’re gripping it in your hands, um… and you’re carrying it. You’re holding it up. So, you’re holding it.

Ah… the word “Horse.” I’m sure most of you will know what this animal is. It’s a farm animal with four legs, with hooves, we often put a big saddle on it and people can ride them on the farm. So, in Australia at least horses you’re going to see either as pets that people use for sports like equestrian where they ride them or they might race them. So, we often have ah… the Melbourne Cup day here each year in Melbourne where there’s the races, people dress up, they wear all kinds of fancy hats, suits and dresses and they go to the races to watch the horses race. And, they’re also used in the outback or on farms as a cheaper and probably more environmentally friendly way of herding cattle and getting around long distances on a farm. So, if people are herding cattle, or mustering cattle, as we say when people are using a horse or a motorbike to get the cattle to come back to a certain paddock or something, um… yeah, they often use horses in order to ride around and manoeuvre the cattle into a big group and then take them back to the farm, to whatever they need to do with the cattle. So, that’s what a horse is.

So, when would you use this phrase guys? “To hold your horses”, or as the imperative “Hold your horses!” Um… it’s just any time you want someone to be patient, to calm down, to relax, to hold on, and to wait. So, say, someone is cooking dinner and they’re kids are like, “I’m hungry. I’m hungry. I’m hungry. When’s dinner? When’s dinner? Can we eat yet? Can we eat yet?” you can say, “Look guys, chill out, hold your horses, just relax. Dinner will be ready in a minute. I need you to hold your horses. Hold your horses”.

Sorry I forgot to explain that “Holding your horses” suggests that you are holding onto the reins of the horse, which is the um… leather material used to control the horse. So, the like… strap, the reins that are used on the horse. If you’re holding onto those reins you’re controlling the horses. You’re forcing them to wait, to hold on, to be patient. So, that’s the reason we say, “To hold your horses”. You’re not literally picking the horses up, but you’re grasping and gripping onto the reins of the horses to control them.

And so, another example could be that, you know, you’re driving somewhere and you’ve got your kids in the car and they’re saying “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” and you say, “Look hold your horses. We’re going to be there soon but I need you to chill out, relax, hold on, be patient. Hold your horses”.

So, let’s go through an exercise today guys and I’ll do the first one which will be the phrase “calm down and hold your horses”. So repeat after me:

Calm down and hold your horses

Calm down and hold your horses

Calm down and hold your horses

Calm down and hold your horses

Calm down and hold your horses

And the next phrase is going to be “I need to hold my horses”, and we’ll conjugate through this one:

I need to hold my horses

You need to hold your horses

He needs to hold his horses

She needs to hold her horses

We need to hold our horses

They need to hold their horses

And I might just mention that in the phrase “I need to hold my horses” whenever the possessive pronoun, so you’re saying “my, your, his, hers, ours…”, for the pronoun such as “his, hers and ours” they kind of roll off, they kind of bounce off the “D” on the end of the word “hold”. So, it’s like “hol-dis horses”, “hol-der horses”, “hol-dour horses”, do you know what I mean? “hol-dis horses”, “hol-der horses”, “hol-dour horses”. So you’ll hear when I say it in the phrases, and I’ll… I’ll say them again just so you can practice them:

I need to hold my horses

You need to hold your horses

He needs to hold his horses

She needs to hold her horses

We need to hold our horses

They need to hold their horses

So, that’s just another thing to practice, to take note of, in making your language spoken English a little more fluid when you speak. And, so that was the phrase, that was the expression “to hold your horses”. To hold on, to wait, to be patient. So, calm down, hold your horses, we’re about to get to the end of the episode. See you later guys!

 

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