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Withers of a Horse (The)

are the muscles which unite the neck and shoulders. The skin of this part of a horse is often galled by the pommel of an illfitting saddle, and then the irritation of the saddle makes the horse wince. In 1 Henry IV., ii. 1, one of the carriers gives direction to the ostler to ease the saddle of his horse, Cut. “I prythee, Tom, beat Cut’s saddle … the poor jade is wrung on the withers,” that is, the muscles are wrung, and the skin galled by the saddle. And Hamlet says (iii. 2):

Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.”

That is, let those wince who are galled; as for myself, my withers are not wrung, and I am not affected by the “bob.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Witch
Witch-finder
Witch Hazel
Witch of Endor
Witch’s Bridle
Witches Sabbath
Witchcraft
Witenagemot
Witham
Withe
Withers of a Horse (The)
Within the Pale
Witney (Oxfordshire)
Wittington
Witwold
Wives of Literary Men
Wo
Woo or Wooe
Woosh
Woo-tee Dynasty
Woden