Thursday, October 13, 2005

Random Trivia

Horses have poor digestive tracts. They don't digest food terribly well. Additionally, back in the day, horses ate oats regularly, which are known for their tough husks. As such, many of the oats would pass directly through the horse's digestive tract and come out softened, but not digested at the other end. In the days before cars, horses regularly did their business on the roads. After they made their deposit, birds would come and dig the oats out of the manure. Since these oats weren't eaten by anyone else, the saying developed that it was for the birds. In other words, when you say something is "for the birds," you are really calling it horseshit.

3 comments:

Weary Hag said...

Okay, posts like this one are totally precious. Amazing, yet precious. One of the things I loved about raising my daughter was the infinite amount of questions she'd ask - pertaining to some of the sayings I'd use in the course of a day. I could rarely answer her questions accurately. Now I have a book on the origins of idioms, but do I drag it off the bookshelf often enough? Nope.
Thanks for the huge smile this morning.

Gramma said...

Well, my son, when Gramma was a little girl living in Tripoli, she watched Arab children pick the oats out of horse droppings. Even the poor in America don't know that kind of poverty.

Michelle said...

Wow, i love grammas post too! How fascinating, thanks for teaching me something :)