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Terri Farley
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Nagging Question

 Dear Readers, 
When you love horses, you get a little sensitive on their behalf.  At least, I do.
The first time I remember the feeling was when my grandfather told me to go catch a horse by putting a rope over his "loco caballo head."  I heard lococaballahead as a single word and couldn't puzzle out the Spanish-Texas fusion. But I knew it sounded derogatory and I took offense for the horse.  
To Grandpa, it meant crazy horse (that albino colt sorta qualified), but I didn't like the way he said it.


I had that feeling about the word "nag," thinking it was a double slam.

When you say "Don't nag me to take out the garbage," that nag has NO connection to horses. Mice, maybe, but not horses. 
And the other kind of Nag isn't so bad. In fact, it's kind of ' fascinating, if you're a word geek as well as a horse geek.

nag (v)
"annoy by scolding," 1828, originally a dialectal word meaning "to gnaw" (1825)
nag (n)
"old horse" c.1400,  originally a small riding horse of unknown origin, perhaps meant to imitate neigh

So there. 

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Posted by Terri Farley @ 8:33 PM

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