what does the saying "like astor's pet horse" mean?

my uncle was curious on many old sayings and their origins, this was one of them.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The Astors were very wealthy Brits that lived a VERY extravagant lifestyle.

    The adage "Astor's pet horse" is alludes to a very expensive, but totally useless item. If someone has something that they pamper and spend LOTS of money on - but serves no real useful purpose, even failing to be appreciated by their owner, could be said to be like Astor's pet horse.

  • 4 years ago

    My Dad would use that expression to mean that Mrs. Astor's horse was treated better than most people. The Astors horses where treated better than most people had opportunity - this was something that only a child of the depression would understand.

  • 4 years ago

    Gotta say - I m not sure if I have it exactly or not.

    But what I do know is I found the quote from From Here To Eternity - "... Taking a chance on 20 years in Leavenworth for making dates with the company commander s wife? And her acting like - like Lady Astor s horse, and all because I got here on time!..."

    Given this, it does not sound like a reference to "It would be like saying that someone got dressed up and then looked "like a million bucks.".

    But it does sound like a reference to obscene, disgusting wealth. Which is pretty much where we are today. I guess things really don t change.

  • 1 decade ago

    Maybe it's a reference to Mrs. Astor, the wife of William B. Astor, Jr. Her son John Jacob Astor was the richest man aboard the Titanic. She along with other members of Astor family were part of the wealthy social elite in NYC during the late 1800s to early 1900s.

    So it sounds like a reference to her extravagant spending and the fact that she used to throw fancy parties. It would be like saying that someone got dressed up and then looked "like a million bucks."

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