Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

if wishes were horses, beggars would ride

if wishes were horses, beggars would ride

Meaning

  • To wish for things does not yield to anything.
  • If just hoping and wishing for things would make it happen then even the poorest of all people would have everything that they desire.
  • One should work in order to get things instead of wishing for them.

Example Sentences

  1. She told me she wanted to become Miss Universe and I said, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride“. How else was I to react to such an absurd thing?
  2. I was day dreaming about being the king of the world when my wife reminded me that if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Origin
In 1605 William Camden’s literary work ‘Remaines of a Greater Worke, Concerning Britaine’ used this phrase although in a slightly different version to what it is right now. James Carmichael used another version in 1628, John Ray used another modified version in 1670 and finally the version that is closest to the one in use today was introduced by James Kelly in 1721. The modern day version has come about from all of the above and perhaps a few more variations of the same phrase. They have all meant the same since the first use.

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