'Osses' 'Ooves

and variants thereof

"Ah, Sir, that's where it is. It ain't the 'unting as 'urts 'im, it's the 'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer along the 'ard 'igh road"

John Leech - 'Punch', May 31st 1856

"It 'aint the 'osses' 'ooves, that 'urt the 'osses 'ooves, it's the 'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer of the 'osses 'ooves, on the 'ard 'ighway".

Scoutmaster James Shaw - as recalled by his daughter, Margaret, June 2012

"Your uneducated masses speak English, you will not deny that; our uneducated masses speak American it won't be fair for you to deny that, for you can see, yourself, that when your stable-boy says, 'It isn't the 'unting that 'urts the 'orse, but the 'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer on the 'ard 'ighway,' and our stable-boy makes the same remark without suffocating a single h, these two people are manifestly talking two different languages."

Mark Twain - 'Concerning The American Language'

An old hunt groom saying goes...

 It ain't the 'unt that 'arms the 'orse, its the 'ammer 'ammer 'ammer on the 'ard 'ard road.

Origin unknown

It's not the 'oppin 'edges that 'urts the 'orses' 'ooves
It's the 'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer on the 'ard, 'ard, road

Origin unknown

Then he tried to repeat the cockney proverb, "It ain't the 'eavy 'aulin that 'urts the 'osses' 'ooves; it's the 'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer on the 'ard 'ighway."

Thomas Sugrue - Stranger in the Earth: the story of a search, 1948

(It) was customary for those of Irish extraction to mimic the accents of such people by singing out, "It's not the 'eavy 'aulin that 'urts the 'osses' 'ooves. It's the 'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer on the old 'ighway."

 Thomas McGuane  - Gellatin Canyon:Stories, 2006

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This page created June 2012