Yes, “dark horse” is considered an idiomatic expression in English. It is a phrase that is used to describe a person or thing that is relatively unknown or untested but has the potential to surprise or succeed in a given situation.
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Origins of the Term “Dark Horse”
The origins of the term “dark horse” can be traced back to the early 19th century in the United States. The term was originally used to describe a political candidate who was relatively unknown but had the potential to win an election. The term later came to be used in a broader sense to describe any person or thing that was considered to be an underdog or unlikely to succeed.
Examples of “Dark Horse” in Context
The term “dark horse” is often used in a variety of contexts to describe a person or thing that is relatively unknown or untested but has the potential to succeed. Some examples of how the term might be used in conversation include:
- “I think Sarah is a dark horse candidate for the job. She doesn’t have as much experience as some of the other applicants, but I think she could really surprise us.”
- “The new restaurant that just opened up is a real dark horse. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the food is amazing.”
- “I think the underdog team could be a real dark horse in this year’s tournament. They have some talented players that could really surprise their opponents.”
In conclusion, “dark horse” is an idiomatic expression that is used to describe a person or thing that is relatively unknown or untested but has the potential to surprise or succeed. The term has its origins in politics but has since been used in a variety of contexts. Whether used to describe a person, a product, or a team, the term is generally used in a positive light and suggests that success is possible even when the odds are against you.
- Is “dark horse” always used in a positive context?
- While “dark horse” is often used to describe a person or thing that has the potential to succeed, it can also be used to describe something that is unexpected or surprising in a negative way.
- What are some synonyms for “dark horse”?
- Synonyms for “dark horse” include underdog, sleeper, and surprise contender.
- Can “dark horse” be used to describe a group of people?
- Yes, “dark horse” can be used to describe a group of people, such as a sports team or a group of entrepreneurs.
- What is the opposite of a “dark horse”?
- The opposite of a “dark horse” would be a front-runner or someone who is already well-known and established in a given field.
- Is “dark horse” a formal or informal term?
- “Dark horse” is generally considered to be an informal term and would not be appropriate in all settings.