I was half-watching the Golf Channel today when I heard the one of the announcers, who had a delightful British accent, refer to one of the player’s performance as the dog’s breakfast.
I’d never heard that phrase before, and I wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or an insult.
I decided to look it up, knowing that this had a good chance to turn into a blog post.
Here’s what I discovered:
dog’s breakfast: something or someone that looks extremely untidy, or something that is very badly done
So obviously it’s not a compliment. I was also curious as to how such a phrase came to be. One site I found noted that it may have been referring to a failed culinary effort, perhaps a burned or botched omelet, fit only for consumption by the mouth of last resort, Fido.
While that may or may not be true, at least it helps put the saying in perspective, making it easier to understand why it is considered an insult.
And the reason I’ve never heard the phrase before is that it much more of a British saying, and not used that frequently in the U.S.
What I also found interesting, and this is thanks to the power of the web, is that the first site I came across had a listing of other idioms, and there was another one I had never heard of:
dog in the manger: someone who keeps something that they do not want in order to prevent someone else from getting it
A possible source for such a saying could be a dog in a manger who prevents a cow from eating even though the dog has no use for cowfeed.
I’m not sure if this is another British saying, but I didn’t come across anything that suggested that it was.
So even though the golf wasn’t memorable, it was still a day to remember.
Two new phrases to add to my repertoire, and feel free to add them to yours.
Just don’t use it when referring to any of my posts…