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horses for courses

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
Happiness is not a possession to be prized. It is a quality of thought, a state of mind.
Daphne Du Maurier
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English

Etymology

The phrase stems from the fact that a racehorse performs best on a racecourse specifically suited to it.

Phrase

horses for courses

  1. (idiomatic) A person suited for one job may not be suited for another job, regardless of their expertise in the former job.
  2. (idiomatic) The practice of choosing the best person for a particular job.

Usage notes

The chiasmus "courses for horses" is less used.

The term is widely used in the foreign-language translation industry, where a translator is selected for a job not only according to their fluency in the language pairs, but also by their intimate knowledge of the subject matter.

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