wordy wednesday: beating a dead horse

Today’s idiom: beating a dead horse

Meaning: fruitless or pointless effort

Origin: Originally “dead horse” meant a job that a person was paid in advance for and might have already spent.  This meaning  came from a play by Richard Brome, The Antipodes, first performed in 1638 and first printed in 1640.  The phrase “flogging a dead horse” or “beating a dead horse,” was first seen in print in 1859 in the report of a UK parliamentary debate.

Source: phrases.

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