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What does this mean: ‘Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink’? Why is it funny?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink

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marked as duplicate by Kris, RegDwigнt Jan 20 '13 at 14:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Please search the site before posting. – RegDwigнt Jan 20 '13 at 14:33
up vote 10 down vote accepted

It means that you can give someone all the opportunities needed to learn or do something, but it will be in vain if the person concerned doesn’t want to do it.

‘Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable’ attributes it to Heywood in 1546. There is an account of an earlier origin here.

As an aside, Dorothy Parker was once asked to make a pun of horticulture, and came up with,

'You can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think.'

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The meaning is that you can show or introduce someone to an opportunity, but you cannot force him/her to take advantage of it. Put another way, you can show or introduce someone to a possibility, but you cannot force him/her to take it.

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