Don’t look a gift horse in the can

This good piece of advice was unintentionally uttered by the husband of a malaphor follower.  It is a mash up of “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” (receive a gift graciously and without criticism) and I think “in the can” (successfully completed and ready for consumption) or  perhaps “kick the can down the road” (to postpone a definitive action).  Interestingly, the saying “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” is attributed to St. Jerome and refers to the practice of looking at a horse’s teeth to determine its age.  I am not sure looking in the opposite end (the can) would achieve the same purpose.

Horses seem to be common in malaphors.  Ray Johnston, husband of frequent malaphor contributor Marcia Johnston, has suggested that they be called “maraphors”.  Clever thinking Ray!  I will add a new category on the websited entitled Maraphors.  Quite a few have already been posted.  A big thank you to Susan Ban for hearing this one uttered by her husband and passing it on!

gift horse


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