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What is an idiom?
This article contains twenty idioms that are related to dogs. Like all idioms, some are derogatory or negative in nature, but some however can be positive and complimentary.
An idiom is a phrase or an expression that cannot be taken literally.
When you use an idiom in everyday language, then it has a different meaning than the basic meaning or definition of the words as found in a dictionary.
An example of this might be "break a leg." If taken literally, then you are being told to break your leg. However, this phrase, or idiom is often used by actors to say "Do well" before they go out on stage.
I hope that enjoy this hubpage as much as I have in putting it together.
Dog Idioms numbers 1 to 3
1. Be like a dog with a bone.
To be relentless, to never stop.
A way of saying that someone is fixated on a topic. An example would be: "Can't you stop going on about wanting that new car, you are like a dog with a bone".
2: As Sick as a Dog.
A way of saying that someone is very sick / ill.
Usually refers to someone who is being physically sick. However, it can also be used to say that you are feeling extremely fed up, with a situation.
3. Done up like a dog's dinner.
Wearing clothes that are over the top - usually too fussy or silly for the event being attended.
Dog Idioms 4 to 6
4. Tail Wagging The Dog.
Meaning that a small part is controlling the whole of something.
Can be used to describe a situation where a recently employed person is suddenly running the business as if he owned it.
5. In The Doghouse.
A way of saying that a person is in trouble, usually due to a mistake that they have made.
This idiom can also be used to describe someone who is out of favor.
6. Love Me Love My Dog.
A way of saying that you should love everything, and accept everything about the person you love.
The English Oxford Dictionary defines this as: "If you love someone, you must accept everything about them, even their faults or weaknesses".
Dog Idiom #7
"Every Dog Has its Day."
A way of expressing that it is inevitable that everyone will have at least one moment of glory in their lifetime.
Dog Idioms 8 to 10
8. As Mean as a Junk Yard Dog."
A way of saying that a person is very mean. This idiom can be used to describe someone who cruel or eager to fight. Can also be used in a slightly different context: "They say that he is meaner than a junk yard dog, but he is actually quite sweet when you get to know him".
9. Dog Does Not Eat Dog.
Meaning: not to turn on your own kind. Usually associated with someone disreputable. Often refers to one person of low repute, not turning on another person of similiar low repute.
10. Better the head of a dog than the tail of a lion.
A way of a saying that it is better to be the leader of a small or low ranking group, than be a subordinate in a higher or more prestigious group.
Dog Idioms - from BBC Learning English - YouTube
Dog Idioms 11 to 13
11. A Dogs Breakfast.
When something is done very badly. Often referring to the way that someone is dressed badly. This idiom is also used to describe someone who is very messy and / or disorganized.
12. A Shaggy Dog Story!
Meaning: a story that can be funny, but usually ends up being ridiculously lengthy.
Can also be used in the context of someone telling a joke that has a meaningless ending.
A way of saying that someone is at a disadvantage and likely to lose a contest. Used to describe a team that not expected to win a contest.
Super Happy Funny Dogs Video - A Bit Of Fun
Dog Idioms 14 to 16
14. Dog Days.
Some say that there is a star called the "dog star" that can only be seen during a hot period of summer.
Refers to a period of hot, sultry weather.
15. Barking Up The Wrong Tree.
Meaning: to be pursuing an incorrect course of action.
Describes a situation where someone is wrong about the way of doing something. To make the wrong choice.
16. To See a Man about a Dog.
A way of saying that you do not really want to tell them where you are going.
Dog Idiom #17
"If You Lie Down With Dogs, You Get Up With Fleas."
A way of issuing a warning to someone - to say that if they do dangerous things they will have to suffer the consequence.
Dog Idioms 18 to 20
18. A Dog and Pony Show.
To lay on an elaborate presentation with the hope of gaining approval for something such as a product.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines this idiom as: "an event that is designed to impress people in order to make them buy something or invest money".
19. A Barking Dog Never Bites.
A way of saying that a person who makes constant threats, rarely carries them out.
20. Be Like a Dog With Two Tails.
To be very happy.