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Horse of a different color and horse of another color

  • Horse of a different color and horse of another color are two forms of an idiom that dates back to Shakespeare. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the meaning of the phrases horse of a different color and horse of another color, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


     

    Horse of a different color and horse of another color are phrases used to refer to something that is entirely different. It is a comparison between two items, ideas or situations that finds them to be not alike. The terms horse of a different color and horse of another color are derived from the William Shakespeare play Twelfth Night, written around 1602: “My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that colour.” Primarily, the phrase horse of a different color is the American rendering of the sentiment, while horse of another color is the British rendering.

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    Examples

    In lieu of the annual gala this year, the Preston Memorial Foundation decided on a “horse of a different color” by hosting their first such event as its local fundraiser. (The Preston County News & Journal)

    KSAT-TV anchorwoman Ursula Pari is turning Mother’s Day into a horse of a different color. (The San Antonio Express-News)

    Zhao’s contemporary film, set on the Pine Ridge reservation in the Badlands of South Dakota, is a horse of a different color. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
    “Everybody saw Vince as a knight in shining armor, [but] behind closed doors that’s a horse of another color.” (Essence Magazine)
    Fresh lima beans are truly a horse of another color. (The Vineyard Gazette)

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