What Does Straight from the Horse’s Mouth Mean?

Straight from the Horses Mouth Meaning

Definition: Directly from the original source; most accurate source of information.

Origin of Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

This expression first became popular around the 1920s. It comes from the practice of examining a horse’s teeth to determine its age. This practice has given rise to other idioms and phrases that predate from the horse’s mouth.

For example, long in the tooth refers to the fact that as horses grow older, their teeth grow. Another related phrase is don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

The idea behind straight from the horse’s mouth is that you (or the source) have come directly from examining the horse to relay information about its age and condition.

Examples of Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

straight from the horses mouth In this dialogue, a brother and sister are discussing their parents’ plans for the summer.

Maria: So what are Mom and Dad going to do for their vacation this year? I assume they’ll go to their lake house again, like they do every year.

Franco: No, believe it or not. They’re going to travel to Slovakia!

Maria: No way. That can’t possibly be true. They’ve never left the country before.

Franco: I know, but they’re going to do it this summer.

Maria: Are you sure?

Franco: I’m 100% positive. I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth. They told me themselves last night at dinner.

Maria: Then I guess it really is true. Wow!

straight from the horse mouth The second example shows two university students who are complaining about a professor.

Lorenzo: Just a warning: we’re going to have a quiz in the next class.

Alba: Are you serious? That can’t be true. We just had a quiz in this class.

Lorenzo: I know, but he wants to make sure we’re completing the readings for each class, so he’s going to start giving us quizzes every day.

Alba: No, I don’t believe you. Who told you that?

Lorenzo: I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth! I visited the professor during his office hours yesterday, and that’s what he said.

Alba: Oh no. Then I guess I have to start completing all the readings.

Lorenzo: That’s for sure.

More Examples

The excerpt below uses the expression to refer to finding out the condition of an athletic team’s mascot. For this team, their mascot is an actual, live horse.

  • I called to get the scoop straight from the horse’s mouth, but got the next best thing, the scoop straight from the horse’s mount. –Denver Post

This excerpt uses the expression to say that a company confirmed they would continue to do similar advertisements.

  • “Straight from the horse’s mouth: The Budweiser Clydesdales are here to stay and will continue to play a central role in our campaigns, including holidays and Super Bowl,” company Vice President Brian Perkins says. –USA Today


The phrase straight from the horse’s mouth is another way to say confirmed information from the best source.