You are here:

General Writing and Grammar Help/Be put thorough one's paces

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted:

What does "to be put thorough one's paces" mean?

Would you please give me some examples of how to use this expression?

As always, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

What does "to be put thorough one's paces" mean?

Would you please give me some examples of how to use this expression?

*** Your questions about idioms help me to learn, and for that I am thankful.

Although I have heard the expression many times, I never knew its origin.
If someone were to put me through my paces, that person would be testing my
abilities.  The phrase essentially means "going through a trial."

John was accepted as a member of the academic team, after he was put through
his paces.

Only after successfully surviving being put through their paces, do men get
chosen to join the Navy SEALS.

*** The phrase original applied to the selling of horses.  A buyer wants to see
how the horse runs, trots, gallops, or races.  If the buyer is satisfied that the
horse can perform the various "paces," he will purchase the horse.

Here is additional information, Paolo.

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/put+through+paces

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/put-someone-or-

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/50/messages/341.html

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.