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“Beating a lifeless horse” is extensively attributed to British flesh presser John Vivid who first used the expression within the Space of Commons in 1859, giving voice to his dissatisfaction with the result of his efforts selling parliamentary reform.
The word was once first famous within the Oxford English Dictionary in 1872.
“Beating a lifeless horse” became an idiomatic word through the years, showing in some shape all over the place the Anglosphere.
The earliest City Dictionary access at the subject was once written in 2004, with a number of different definitions that adopted.