Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 11:43:09 CDT From: Randy Roberts Subject: Re: Eats its head off The following comes from the citations collected by Peter Tamony. "The hard school of experience is the only one in which some people will learn . . . . they will discover when they have kept the produce four or five years and when after it has 'eaten its head off' several times . . . . that a stallion of inferior breeding is the most expensive animal a breeder can use." Breeder and Sportsman, San Francisco, 16 November 1889, XV, 20, p.411. Laws Relating to Innkeepers. "By the custom of London and Exeter, 'when a horse eats out the price of his head,' namely, when the cost of keep exceeds value, the host may have him as his own." Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, volume 14, page 576D. Hope this helps. Randy Roberts University of Missouri-Columbia robertsr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________ Subject: Eats its head off Author: American Dialect Society at internet-ext Date: 12/14/95 10:25 AM A friend of mine asked if anyone knows of the origin of the expression "Eats its head off." His reference comes from the movie Black Beauty. Of course, we also say, "eating your head off." "Talk your head off" seems a little different. I suspect there might be some interesting story behind this expression. Any insights? -- (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*) Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164 Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351 (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)