In New Hampshire yesterday, presidential candidate Biden called a voter a "lying, dog-faced pony soldier".

In this context, what is meant by a "pony soldier"?

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    In the context, it seems to be an insult, which doesn't have to mean anything, just sound bad. The Daily Caller says “So, apparently Biden has used this ‘dog-faced pony soldier’ phrase before, but about Republicans. It’s allegedly from a film where an Indian chief tells John Wayne: ‘This is a lying dog-faced pony soldier,'” Weinberger tweeted, adding a query for verification. “However, haven’t been able to verify that line. Any John Wayne experts?” – Weather Vane Feb 9 at 19:40
  • Isn't he demeaning the voter by implying pathetic weakness? Like "I curse you and the poodle you rode in on" rather than at least "the horse you rode in on"? – Yosef Baskin Feb 9 at 19:45
  • He may have meant to say "ponyboy": dictionary.com/e/fictional-characters/ponyboy – Hot Licks Feb 9 at 20:18
  • He's attempting to use the quote in the same manner someone would jokingly say, "You're pulling my leg." Of course, in true Biden fashion, he chooses the worst time to do it. – Nick McCowin Feb 9 at 21:51

It's not a common idiom. There is an old movie called "Pony Soldier", based on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but it's not clear how that reference would relate, unless Biden was hinting that the guy was Canadian.

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    This page: The Last of the Pony Soldiers claims "the term Pony Soldier was bestowed on members of the US Cavalry, who rode and fought in the Plains Indian wars of post Civil War history." – Weather Vane Feb 9 at 19:45
  • I doubt that this was the meaning intended. – Emma Dash Feb 9 at 20:03

The voter in question was a young women with short cropped hair. The "idiom" was insulting and suggestive on several levels. It is not idiomatic if the phrase was never in common usage by any group at any time period. It is more likely a "senior moment".

  • Political biases irrelevant, Biden is having a lot of senior moments, and is frequently antagonistic. – Regular Joe Feb 10 at 20:06

Dog faced pony soldier is referencing an Indian scout (dog faced) pony soldier (U.S. Cavalry). It is not just any Cavalry recruit, but instead an Indian helping the Cavalry.

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    As in someone who appears to be in the wrong camp. – Phil Sweet Feb 9 at 23:02
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    Do you have any citation for 'dog faced' meaning 'indian scout' – Spagirl Feb 10 at 11:14

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