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

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When most horses take a leak, that is a dramatic sight, v the currently typically around one-third to one-half an customs in diameter, developing a yes, really “river” of pee that seems to have actually impressed part wordsmith sufficiently to coin the phrase, “piss choose a (race)horse” – this particular day denoting a complete human bladder the needs cleared yesterday. Back authoritative sources for the expression’s origins are non-existent, luckily, the devices of the modern-day world space at our fingertips to try to track down the origin and also progression of this rather uncouth phrase.

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To start with, a version of the expression was born sometime just after the mid-20th century. In ~ this point, the combustion engine had actually long since supplanted horse power because that transportation and also other work, i m sorry is perhaps why over there aren’t various other variants that incorporate things choose “piss prefer a carriage horse” or “plow horse.”

So when, special, is the an initial documented instance of this expression? It has actually been claimed that it was in Richard Le Mon’s 1972 poetry collection The Needles’ Balance. However, the somewhat suspect source for the does not carry out any info on wherein in said publication this occurs, nor what the specific text is. Further, if this is correct, it would location it a complete decade prior to any more readily verifiable recorded instance the the specific phrase. (As no digital version of the book exists and I couldn’t gain a organize of a copy (yet), we’ll leave the for now.)

But, in the end, that doesn’t necessarily matter in tracing the ultimate origin of the phrase if The Needles’ Balance was first. Friend see, the original expression was not “piss choose a racehorse,” however rather “piss favor a horse.” The very first known documented instance of this shows up to be in issues 6-7 (page 27) of the 1969 New American Review. In it, the adhering to text appears, “the noise of straining tractors, uncles that were proud they might piss choose a horse, and who ingested particular liquids to permit them to continue to…”


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

The an initial instance of specifying a “racehorse,” quite than just any kind of horse, that I could find and also verify wasn’t till the 1982 Groundrush through Greg Barron, in which he writes “He unzipped his fly and pissed top top the insect. Piss like a racehorse. That’s what Pap would certainly recommend- Pap who loved horses and dogs far much more than he loved people.”

As to why the move from just any type of horse come a racehorse occurred, this is anybody’s guess. It has actually been speculated that the “race” part was consisted of as it suggests urgency, hence the definition of “urgent must urinate.” However, the an initial documented instances the the exact expression have actually the same definition and usage as the initial “piss like a horse”- urinate a substantial amount, quite than specifically referring to the pressing have to urinate a massive amount. So it may actually it is in the other means around, through the meaning shifting come implicate urgency coming later as a an outcome of the currently included “racehorse.”

It additionally has been provided that “racehorse” simply sounds far better than “horse” in the expression, no unlike a common alliterative variant that has popped increase since, “Piss choose a Russian racehorse.”

The shift from “horse” come “racehorse” has also been correlated with the fact that in the early on 1970s the drug furosemide started to be legalized in equine racing on race day, very first in 1974 in Maryland and also spreading native there.

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

So what walk this need to do v horses’ urinating and why was it provided to north Dancer and also then many, plenty of other race horses since? Furosemide considerably reduces the incidences that exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging. Together such, it ended up being a very desirable point to provide to race equines to curb this potential problem.


More vital to the topic at hand is that the drug is a significant diuretic; a horse given this expulsion massive amounts of to pee (potentially several gallons in one hour) loved one to their common output (a few quarts every couple of hours). The perceived advantage of this is the the horses have the right to be induced to melted some fast pounds before the race and the net effect, besides the major benefit of reduce instances of pulmonary hemorrhaging, is thought to be much better race times.

So it has actually been speculated that the climb of the use of this drug in the 1970s in steed racing may have seen the expression change from “piss choose a horse” come “piss favor a racehorse” – the latter expelling drastically more urine directly before races once on furosemide than their non-doped increase brethren. From there, the expression advanced to not simply mean the act of expelling a enormous amount that urine, but an ext commonly used today to suggest the urgent have to do so.

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Bonus Facts:

There is a most money to it is in made in racing and also breeding thoroughbred horses. In fact, one horse, Curlin (né 2004, pun intended) who won the Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup classic in 2007 and also the Dubai world Cup in 2008, has earned, as of 2014, well an ext than $10,000,000. Prolific, Curlin “covered” 131 mares in 2009, and also one of his sons, palace Malice, won the Belmont stakes in 2013.Horse gyeongju in the unified States precedes its formation, and also beginning in 1823, an yearly North vs. South horseracing competition to be held; in ~ the an initial run at Union race Course, the North’s American Eclipse to win the South’s Sir Henry. The competition continued through the civil War.The hatchet Triple Crown, denoting winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and also the Belmont Stakes, became popular in 1930 as soon as sportswriter Bryan Field applied it come Gallant Fox, that was the 2nd horse to win all three (Sir Barton to be the first).Meaning “to urinate,” words piss traces its root to the so late 1200s and also an Old French indigenous pissier.Pee as a verb for urinating is a much more recent word, a different of piss, it traces to only 1879. As a noun for urination, pee has actually been used because 1902, and also as a noun for the to pee itself, to only 1961.Urinate as a verb traces its beginnings to the 1590s, and is itself derived from the middle ages Latin word because that urination, urinationem.

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Race, together in the act of running, dates ago to the 1300s and derives native an Old vikings word, ras. As a “contest the speed,” that was very first recorded in the early 1500s.Horse is an also older word, dating ago to the Old English (500-1150 AD) hors; it accomplished its modern spelling by around the rotate of the 1400s. Race steed dates ago to the 1620s, and is just the combination of the various other two words.Expand because that References