Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.

With the running of the Belmont Stakes this afternoon, many of us will be keenly rooting for California Chrome, whose speed, stamina, spunk and humble origins have won our hearts.

Inspired by California Chrome, I’m full of horse power and feeling my oats — champing (not chomping) at the bit and eager to give free rein to talking horse sense with you about the English language. Straight from the horse’s mouth, let’s consider some of the many equine words and expressions stabled in our everyday vocabulary.

• A horse is “rough-shoed” when the nails of its shoes project, ensuring a more sure-footed progress but also damaging the ground over which it gallops. Thus, when we ruthlessly advance ourselves at other people’s expense, we ride roughshod over them.

• Attendants groom and clean a horse’s coat with a curry comb. When we wish someone to think well of us, we curry favor.

• In an oft-used cliché, we compare a point in time to a bespurred rider mounted upon our backs and urging us on with sharp prodding. That’s the metaphor we use when we talk about doing something on the spur of the moment.

• Jockeys urge their horses on by whispering “shoo” and shooing them on. Thus, a horse or a person who is an easy winner is known as a shoo-in.

• When a horse is so far ahead of the rest of the field that the outcome of the race is no longer in doubt, the jockey does not even have to lift the reins to urge his or her mount forward and wins hands down.

• High-strung race horses are sometimes given goats as stablemates to calm them, and the two animals can become inseparable companions. Unscrupulous gamblers sometimes steal the goat attached to a particular horse that they want to run poorly the next day. By getting someone’s goat, we can affect his or her performance.

I’ve tried to lead a horse to language and make you think, and I’m trusting that you won’t look this gift horse in the mouth.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth is one of the oldest proverbs known to humankind, whinnying back at least 1,500 years. The age and health of a horse can be ascertained by examining the condition and number of its teeth. Although an animal may appear young and frisky, a close inspection may reveal that it is long in the tooth. Still, it is considered bad manners to inspect the teeth of a horse that has been given you and, by extension, to inquire too closely into the cost or value of any gift.

But if you are buying a horse from a trader, you are advised to determine its age and health by examining the teeth straight from the horse’s mouth, the precise source of today’s column.

Please send your questions and comments about language to richard.lederer@utsandiego.com