People come out with the strangest expressions sometimes, so let’s take a look at some of those relating to dogs.
•”Three dog night”: the phrase originates from the indigenous Aborigines of Australia who would sleep with their dogs for warmth on cold nights. A very cold night is referred to as a “three dog night”.
•”The dog days of summer”: the phrase originates from ancient Greece and Rome when the hottest and sultriest days of the summer were referred to as “dog days”. The ancient Greeks and Romans mistakenly believed that the heat was caused by Sirius, the Dog Star, which was the brightest star in the night sky.
•”Hair of the dog that bit you” or just simply “Hair of the dog”: referring to drinking alcohol to ease the effects of a hangover (in other words, use the cause of the illness as a remedy), the phrase is derived from a folklore cure for dog bites that required hair from the dog to be placed on the wound.
•”The tail wagging the dog”: this phrase refers to a minor event or activity having precedence over a more important event or activity.
•”Raining cats and dogs”: used to describe a heavy downpour of rain, the origins of the expression are unknown. However, the most widely accepted belief is the expression originated in 17th century England where drainage systems were poor and all sorts of waste, including the bodies of dead animals, could be found in the streets. During heavy rains, the bodies of dead cats and dogs could be seen floating in the poorly drained areas.
Here are a few canine quotes to make you think or smile:
•”A dog has the soul of a philosopher.” Plato
•”Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.” Lewis Grizzard
•”Don’t make the mistake of treating your dogs like humans or they’ll treat you like dogs.” Martha Scott
•”If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” Mark Twain
•”Money will buy a pretty good dog but it won’t buy the wag of his tail.” Josh Billings
•”What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in a fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog” Dwight D. Eisenhower
•”To err is human, to forgive canine.” Anonymous
•”The more I deal with people, the more I like dogs.” Anonymous
Did you know that:
•The word “Fido” is Latin for “I am faithful”
•The patron saint of dogs is St. Roch of Montpellier, France. According to legend, after ministering to victims of the plague, Roch himself caught the disease and withdrew to live in a forest. Whilst there, a dog brought him bread and healed his wounds by licking them.
Whether big or small, dogs have interwoven themselves into our language in a subtle (or not so subtle) way. God bless them all!