R. Cantos asks: i was just wondering who came up through the expression “piss choose a racehorse”?

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When most equines take a leak, that is a dramatic sight, with the present typically around one-third to one-half an customs in diameter, developing a veritable “river” of to pee that seems to have impressed some wordsmith saturated to coin the phrase, “piss like a (race)horse” – this day denoting a complete human bladder that needs emptied yesterday. Return authoritative resources for the expression’s beginnings are non-existent, luckily, the tools of the modern world room at ours fingertips to shot to track down the origin and progression of this rather uncouth phrase.

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To begin with, a variation of the expression was born sometime simply after the mid-20th century. In ~ this point, the combustion engine had long since supplanted steed power because that transportation and other work, i beg your pardon is possibly why over there aren’t various other variants that encompass things prefer “piss choose a carriage horse” or “plow horse.”

So when, specifics is the first documented circumstances of this expression? It has actually been claimed that it remained in Richard Le Mon’s 1972 poetry arsenal The Needles’ Balance. However, the rather suspect source for the does not administer any details on wherein in said book this occurs, nor what the specific text is. Further, if this is correct, the would ar it a complete decade prior to any an ext readily verifiable recorded instance the the precise phrase. (As no digital version of the publication exists and I couldn’t acquire a hold of a copy (yet), we’ll leave that for now.)

But, in the end, it doesn’t have to matter in tracing the ultimate origin of the expression if The Needles’ Balance to be first. Friend see, the initial expression was no “piss like a racehorse,” however rather “piss like a horse.” The first known documented instance of this shows up to it is in in worries 6-7 (page 27) of the 1969 New American Review. In it, the adhering to text appears, “the noise the straining tractors, uncles who were proud they can piss prefer a horse, and also who ingested particular liquids to allow them to proceed to…”


After this, the expression “piss like a horse” showed up in countless works of the 1970s and beyond.

The an initial instance of point out a “racehorse,” fairly than just any kind of horse, the I can find and also verify wasn’t until the 1982 Groundrush through Greg Barron, in which he writes “He unzipped his fly and also pissed ~ above the insect. Piss prefer a racehorse. That’s what Pap would certainly recommend- Pap that loved horses and also dogs far more than he loved people.”

As to why the move from just any kind of horse to a racehorse occurred, this is anybody’s guess. It has been speculated that the “race” component was consisted of as it suggests urgency, hence the meaning of “urgent must urinate.” However, the very first documented instances the the specific expression have actually the same definition and consumption as the initial “piss prefer a horse”- urinate a substantial amount, rather than especially referring to the pressing need to urinate a substantial amount. For this reason it may actually be the other way around, through the meaning shifting to implicate urgency coming later as a result of the currently included “racehorse.”

It additionally has been noted that “racehorse” simply sounds much better than “horse” in the expression, not unlike a typical alliterative variant that has actually popped up since, “Piss like a Russian racehorse.”

The shift from “horse” to “racehorse” has also been correlated with the truth that in the early 1970s the drug furosemide began to it is in legalized in equine racing on gyeongju day, an initial in 1974 in Maryland and also spreading native there.

The very first known usage of it in equine racing, however, was around a decade before this as soon as veterinarian Alex Harthill, “Derby Doc,” provided legendary race equine Northern Dancer a dose before the Kentucky Derby. Northern Dancer walk on to win by a sleep over Hill Rise.

So what does this have to do v horses’ urinating and also why to be it offered to north Dancer and also then many, countless other race equines since? Furosemide significantly reduces the incidences the exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging. As such, it came to be a very desirable point to give to race equines to curb this potential problem.


More important to the topic available is that the drug is a major diuretic; a horse given this expels massive amounts of to pee (potentially numerous gallons in an hour) loved one to their typical output (a few quarts every few hours). The perceived advantage of this is the the horses can be induced to burned some rapid pounds before the race and the net effect, besides the significant benefit of reducing instances of pulmonary hemorrhaging, is thought to be far better race times.

So it has been speculated the the rise of the usage of this drug in the 1970s in equine racing may have actually seen the expression transition from “piss favor a horse” to “piss like a racehorse” – the latter expelling drastically an ext urine directly before races when on furosemide than their non-doped increase brethren. Native there, the expression developed to not simply mean the action of expelling a huge amount of urine, but more commonly offered today to indicate the urgent have to do so.

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Bonus Facts:

There is a lot of money to it is in made in racing and breeding thoroughbred horses. In fact, one horse, Curlin (né 2004, pun intended) that won the Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup standard in 2007 and also the Dubai people Cup in 2008, has actually earned, together of 2014, well much more than $10,000,000. Prolific, Curlin “covered” 131 mares in 2009, and one that his sons, royal residence Malice, won the Belmont crest in 2013.Horse racing in the joined States comes before its formation, and also beginning in 1823, an yearly North vs. Southern horseracing competition was held; at the an initial run at Union gyeongju Course, the North’s American Eclipse to win the South’s Sir Henry. The competition continued through the polite War.The hatchet Triple Crown, denoting to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and also the Belmont Stakes, ended up being popular in 1930 once sportswriter Bryan Field used it to Gallant Fox, that was the 2nd horse to win all three (Sir Barton was the first).Meaning “to urinate,” words piss traces its root to the late 1200s and an Old French word pissier.Pee as a verb for urinating is a much much more recent word, a variant of piss, it traces to just 1879. As a noun for urination, pee has actually been used because 1902, and also as a noun for the urine itself, to only 1961.Urinate together a verb traces its origins to the 1590s, and also is itself acquired from the middle ages Latin word for urination, urinationem.

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Race, as in the action of running, dates back to the 1300s and also derives from an Old norseman word, ras. Together a “contest of speed,” that was first recorded in the early on 1500s.Horse is an also older word, dating earlier to the Old English (500-1150 AD) hors; it accomplished its contemporary spelling by around the turn of the 1400s. Race steed dates earlier to the 1620s, and is merely the combination of the other two words.Expand for References