don't look a gift horse in the mouth

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Calque of Latin expressions such as equi dentes inspicere donati (to inspect the teeth of a provided horse) in St. Jerome's c. 400 Preface to the Commentaries of the Letter to the Ephesians (Commentariorum in Epistolam ad Ephesios Libri Tres), which designates it as a "common proverb" (vulgare proverbium). The ultimate referrent is inspection of horses' teeth as a way of ascertaining their age and value.

Pronunciation[edit]

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Proverb[edit]

don't look a gift horse in the mouth

  1. One should not unappreciatively question or inspect a gift too closely.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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References[edit]

  • Gregory Y. Titelman, Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings, 1996, →ISBN, p. 69.