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William: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. My name is William Kremer.
Li: And I’m Li. William, what’s our phrase today?
William: Well, hold on a second Li, let me just play you –
Li: No, come on, tell me now – what phrase are we looking at today?
William: Well, we’ll come onto that in a minute but I’ve got some very special FX for you…
Li: More special FX?! And special music? That’s not what our people want! They want authentic English phrases, and they want them now! So what’s our phrase today?
William: Li, hold your horses!
William: Hold your horses. It means: be patient.
Li: Oh… where does this phrase come from, William?
William: Well, apparently it comes from battles in times of war:
FX – Battle re-enactment noise
Man: Hold your horses men!
FX – gunfire, horses whinnying
Li: Wow, Will, your FX this week are really special!
William: Hmmm, I know! In that clip we heard a soldier telling his men to hold their horses before he started firing weapons.
Li: But nowadays, I am guessing, you don’t need to be a soldier to use this phrase, right?
William: Exactly, yes. It means: don’t rush, be patient. Let’s hear a couple of examples:
Man: I’ve just gone online to order us some new computers. What’s our charge code again?
Woman: Ah, well you’re going to have to hold your horses! I haven’t agreed a budget yet with the management team.
Man 2: I’ve just spoken to Mark –
Woman 2: Have you indeed? Well don’t listen to a word that man says! He’s never liked me…
Man 2: Hey, hey hey! Hold your horses. We didn’t discuss you at all, as a matter of fact.
Li: So in that first example, the man couldn’t order his computers yet because the company hadn’t agreed a budget. He had to wait; he had to hold his horses.
William: Hmm. And in the second example it was slightly different. In that clip we heard a woman interrupt the man because she thought she knew what he was going to say.
Li: Ah yes, the man told her to hold her horse and wait for him to finish speaking.
William: Ah, yeah, but Li we never say “Hold your horse” we always say “Hold your horses”.
Li: Oh OK, I’ll bear it in mind. But, er, Will…?
Li: Can you hold this for me please?