horses for courses

horses for courses
Originally an expression in horse-racing: different horses are suited to different race courses. Now widely used in other contexts.

1891 A. E. T. WATSON Turf vii. A familiar phrase on the turf is ‘horses for courses’... The Brighton Course is very like Epsom, and horses that win at one meeting often win at the other.

1929 Daily Express 7 Nov. 18 Followers of the ‘horses for courses’ theory will be interested in the acceptance of Saracen, Norwest and Sir Joshua.

1985 ‘J. GASH’ Pearlhanger xxiii. It seemed to me I’d need a massacre, and immediately thought of Big John Sheehan. Horses for courses.

2001 Times 7 Nov. 16 Likewise it is horses for courses in Parliament. Mr Blair has a huge majority. There is no point in ‘nursing a constituency’ which offers no threat.


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  • horses for courses — Phrase expressing the view that each racehorse will do best on a certain course which peculiarly suits it (also figurative of people) • • • Main Entry: ↑horse * * * Brit., proverb different people are suited to different things or situations * *… …   Useful english dictionary

  • horses for courses — means that what is suitable for one person or situation might be unsuitable for another …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • horses for courses —    Horses for courses means that what is suitable for one person or situation might be unsuitable for another.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Horses for courses —   Horses for courses means that what is suitable for one person or situation might be unsuitable for another …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • horses for courses — ► horses for courses Brit. proverb different people are suited to different things or situations. Main Entry: ↑horse …   English terms dictionary

  • Horses for Courses — Infobox Television episode Title = Horses for Courses Series = All Saints Caption = Season = 11 Episode = 25 Airdate = Start date|2008|07|29 Production = Writer = Trent Roberts Director = Marcus Cole Music = Photographer = Guests = Tina Bursill… …   Wikipedia

  • Horses for courses — This is a common saying that means each to his own. What suits one person might be horrible for someone else. If my Dad was trying to understand why my brother had wanted to get his ear pierced he might say Oh well, it s horses for courses I… …   The American's guide to speaking British

  • Horses for courses. — British & Australian something that you say which means that it is important to choose suitable people for particular activities because everyone has different skills. Ah well, horses for courses. Just because a plumber can mend your washing… …   New idioms dictionary

  • horses for courses — noun a) A person suited for one job may not be suited for another job, regardless of their expertise in the former job. b) The practice of choosing the best person for a particular job …   Wiktionary

  • horses —    In folk tradition, horses were regarded as very vulnerable to supernatural attack; in particular, their night sweats and exhaustion were interpreted as due to hag riding by witches or fairies, from whom they must be protected by holed stones.… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

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