Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Dog's Bollocks Part One


Ten awesome canine idioms and dog metaphors.





Dog's Bollocks

The 1920's flappers, in addition to terrifying the older generations, popularized terms like Bee's Knees, Cat's Pajamas, and Dog's Bollocks, all meaning outstandingly good. 

Dog's bollocks, both as a term and actual anatomy, is much older than the 20's. It refers to bollocks "standing out" from the dog's undercarriage and the obvious affection dogs have for this area of anatomy. 


A typographical construction of a colon and hyphen : - meaning a restful pause is informally called a Dog's Bollock. It was primarily used in British legal documents but bollocks, dog or otherwise, were apparently not a hit in the judicial system and the symbol has fallen out of favor.


Dog’s Bollocks Syndrome is defined as the excessive use of visual aids. The reason IT presentations pack in an additional 28 minutes of worthless animation is the same reason dogs engage in bollocks type activities . . . because they can.




Yellow Dog Democrats

Indigenous American Dingos have a yellowish coat and are considered mongrels. Referring to someone as a yellow dog was derogatory . . . before other, more specific and elaborate terms became popular. 


Yellow Dog Democrats, a phrase from the late 19th century, would "vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Republican".


Blue Dog Democrats

After the Southern States shifted towards 
conservatism, Democrats who moved to a more conservative position were said to have been yellow dogs "choked blue" and forced to surrender or be asphyxiated.


Red Dog Democrats

Based on designating conservative states as red and liberal states as blue, Red Dog Democrats are politically viable candidates in primarily Republican areas.


Pink Tu-tu Democrats will dance and roll over for the GOP while Purple Democrats are DINOs Democrats In Name Only, the color taken from Barney the dinosaur.



Let sleeping dogs lie.

"It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake." - Chaucer, circa 1380

A reference to the tendency for some dog to be unpredictable when suddenly disturbed . . .



like lions, toddlers, and most other mammals. Frankly let sleeping toddlers lie would make more sense.



Every dog has its day.

"Notwithstanding, as a dog hath a day, so may I perchance have time to declare it in deeds." - Queen Elizabeth I, writing to her brother.



The proverb, by implication, means every person has a period of power or influence. The origin is unclear and certainly most people, as well as most dogs, rarely have any noticeable period of influence.


However, in addition to The Queen, Shakespeare also cited the proverb, so it had some weighty backers. 

Let Hercules himself do what he may, The cat will mew and dog will have his day. - Hamlet 



Three Dog Night

The American rock band, writers of Joy to the World, was named by the lead vocalist's girlfriend.

She learned that Australian Aboriginals, on cold nights would go to sleep in proximity of dingos to stay warm. During very cold weather, they referred to the need to sleep by three dingos rather than one.



Raining Cats and Dogs 

There are several theories about this idiom, some grimmer than others. 




The reference may be a modification of Cata Doxa, the Greek expression meaning "contrary to experience or belief" and therefore rain beyond belief. 




The saying may also reference mythological figures. Odin, God of lots of stuff including storms, is commonly depicted with wolves and dogs which symbolized wind. Witches were assumed to fly during storms with their cats. 


In Germany, it rains puppies but not kittens. In Norway, it rains troll women and in South America, it rains women with clubs. In the 80's it was raining men. 




Hound

Someone who doggedly chases after something, often in packs or someone who is dedicated to finding, correcting, or generally being obnoxious in a specialized area.



A few great hound titles:

Period Hound: person in art direction responsible for avoiding anachronisms in the making of a motion picture

Smut Hound: motion picture censor

Tea Hound: ladies man 

Truffle Hound: researcher who searches for buried clues 

Woof Hound: swing music fan



Dog Face, Dog Tags, and Devil Dogs


Dog face is a reclaimed derogatory slur. During WWII, American army foot soldiers were called dog face by soldiers from other services.

Typically the least skilled, the infantry was considered expendable and treated with some level of disregard. 



Two musically illiterate infantrymen, as a sign of protest, wrote a song called "Dog Face Soldier". 



I Wouldn't Give A Bean
To Be A Fancy Pants Marine
I'd Rather Be A
Dog Face Soldier Like I Am




The dog face soldiers were further popularized in the film To Hell And Back



United States Marine Corps are known as Devil Dogs.

A newspaper account of a battle fought early in WWI reported Germans sent a dispatch to headquarters explaining that the Marines fought like "Teufel Hunden" or "Hounds from Hell."

The story is probably fictitious but the Marines have adopted the Bulldog as a mascot. 



The origin of the term dog tag is fairly self-evident but the history is interesting.




Secondary to the bloody battles during the Civil War, soldiers were concerned that their bodies may not be identified. 

"Soldiers would write their name on a piece of paper and pin it to their clothing or scratch their name into the soft lead of their belt buckle." 



The military started to offer metal "name discs" to Federal soldiers but most of the servicemen were not aware of the option.

Peddlers following the army and offering goods began to sell metal stamped "dog tags" to the soldiers who could afford them. They resembled a coin with a punched hole to accommodate a piece of string.




During WWII, dog tags were made with a notch at the end. The tag could be inserted into a hand-held imprinting machine and the information would be stamped on military forms.

To ensure the tag was facing in the right direction the notch had to be situated correctly before making an impression.  




Celebudog

The word was created after celebrities of Paris Hilton ilk started to bring tiny dogs or dogcessories to every event, activity, and outing.


Abe Lincoln's Doctor's Dog

The publishing industry had noticed that a disproportional number of bestsellers tended to include Abraham Lincoln, dogs, or doctors . . . and occasionally all three.

ALDD or Aldy describes entertainment combining popular events and trends while ignoring storyline and continuity. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer grossed $116,471,580 worldwide.


Ten more awesome canine idioms and dog metaphors.

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