This long article is subdivided into eleven parts:
1. Dogs of note.
2. Dogs of noted persons.
3. Dogs models of their species.
4. Dogs in phrases.
5. Dogs used metaphorically, etc.
6. Dogs in Scripture language.
7. Dogs in art.
8. Dogs in proverbs and fables
9. Dogs in superstitions.
10. Dogs the male of animals.
11. Dogs inferior plants.
(1) DOGS of Note:
Barry. The famous mastiff of Great St. Bernard's, in the early part
of the present century instrumental in saving forty human beings. His
most memorable achievement was rescuing a little boy whose mother had
been destroyed by an avalanche. The dog carried the boy on his back to
the hospice. The stuffed skin of this noble animal is kept in the
museum of Berne.
Gelert (q.v.). Tonton.
The dog which was enclosed in an acorn. Tray—i.e. Trag =
runner, or else from the Spanish traér, to fetch.
(2) DOGS of
Actæon's fifty dogs.
Alce(strength), Amarynthos (from Amarythia, in Eubaea
), Asbolos (soot-colour), Banos, Boreas, Canache(ringwood
), Chediætros, Cisseta, Coran (cropped, crop-eared), Cyllo (halt), Cyllopotes (zig-zag runner), Cyprios (the Cyprian
), Draco (the dragon), Dromas (the courser), Dromios (seize-'em), Echnobas, Eudromos (good-runner), Harpale (voracious), Harpiea (tear-'em),
Ichnobate(track-follower), Labros (furious), Lacæna (lioness), Lachne(glossy-coated), Lacon (Spartan),
Ladon (from Ladon, in Arcadia), Lælaps (hurricane),
Lampos (shining-one), Leucos (grey), Lycisca, Lyncea,
Machimos (boxer), Melampe(black), Melanchete (black-coat), Melanea (black), Menelea, Molossos (from
Molossos), Napa (begotten by a wolf), Nebrophonos (fawn-killer), Ocydroma (swift-runner), Oresitrophos
(mountain-bred), Oribasos (mountain-ranger),
Pachytos (thick-skinned), Pamphagos (ravenous), Paemenis
(leader) Pterelas (winged), Stricta (spot),
Theridamas (beast-tamer or subduer), Theron (savage-faced), Thoös (swift), Uranis (heavenly-one).
Several modern names of dogs are of Spanish origin, as Ponto
(pointer), Tray (fetch), etc.
King Arthur's favourite hound.
Aubry of Montdidier was murdered, in 1371, in the forest of Bondy.
His dog, Dragon, showed a most unusual hatred to a man named Richard of
Macaire, always suarling and ready to fly at his throat whenever he
appeared. Suspicion was excited, and Richard of Macaire was condemned
to a judicial combat with the dog. He was killed, and in his dying
moments confessed the crime.
the camp-sutler's dog: Clumsy.
Browning's (Mrs.) little dog Flush, on which she wrote a poem.
Lord Byron's favourite dog.
Boatswain, buried in the garden of Newstead Abbey. Catherine de
Medici's favourite lapdog was named Phoebé.
Cathullin's hound was named Luath (q.v..
Douglas's hound was named Luffra or Lufra (q.v.). Elizabeth
of Bohemia's dog was named Apollon.
Fingal's dog was named Bran.
“ `Mare Bran, is e a brathair' (If it be not Bran, it is Bran's
brother) was the proverbial reply of Maccombich.” —Waverley,
Frederick of Wales had a dog given him by Alexander Pope, and on the
collar were these words -
I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
Gargittios and Orthos. The latter was the brother of Cerberos, but
had one head less. Hercules killed both these monsters.
Maera (the glistener). Icarios was slain by some drunken
peasants, who buried the body under a tree. His daughter Erigone
searching for her father, was directed to the spot by the howling of
Maera, and when she discovered the body she hung herself for grief.
Icarios became the constellation Boötes, Erigone the
constellation Virgo, and Maera the star Procyon, which
rises in July, a little before the Dog-star. (Greek, pro-kuon.
Kenneth's (Sir) famous hound was called Roswal. (Sir W.
Scott: The Talisman.
Lamb's (Charles) dog was named Dash.
Landor's (Savage) dog was named Giallo. Landseer's greyhound
was named Brutus. “The Invader of the Larder.” Llewellyn's greyhound
was named Gelert' (q.v.).
Lurgan's (Lord) greyhound was named Master M'Grath, from an
orphan boy who reared it. It won three Waterloo Cups, and was presented
at Court by the express desire of Queen Victoria, the very year it died
It ran away whenever it was called. In the corresponding Italian
proverb the dog is called that of the Vicar Arlotto. (See
Sir Isaac Newton's,
Dog of, Montargis. The same as Aubry's dog. A picture of the
combat was for many years preserved in the castle of Montargis. (See
Orion's dogs were Arctophonos (bearkiller), and Ptoophagos
(Ptoon-glutton.) (Ptoon is in Boaotia.) Pope's dog was named Bounce.
Punch's dog is Toby.
Richard II.'s greyhound was named Mathe. It deserted the king and
attached itself to Bolingbroke. Roderick the Goth's dog was named
Rupert's (Prince) dog, killed at Marston Moor, was named Boy.
Scott's (Sir Walter) dogs: his favourite deerhound was named
Maida; his jet-black greyhound was called Hamlet. He also had two
Dandy Dinmont terriers.
Seven Sleepers (Dog of the). This famous dog, admitted by
Mahomet to heaven, was named Katmir. The seven noble youths that fell
asleep for 309 years had a dog, which accompanied them to the cavern in
which they were walled up. It remained standing for the whole time, and
neither moved from the spot, ate, drank, nor slept. (Sale's Koran,
Tristran's dog was named Leon or Lion.
Ulysses' dog, Argos, recognised him after his return from Troy, and
died of joy.
(3) DOGS, models of their species:
Argoss (a Russian terrier); Baroness Cardiff (a Newfoundland); Black Prince (a mastiff); Bow-wow (a schipperke); Corney
(a bull-terrier); Countess of Warwick (a great Dane); Dan
O'Connor (an Irish water-spaniel); Dude (a pug); Fascination (a black cocker-spaniel); Fritz (a French
poodle); Judith (a bloodhound); Kilcree (a Scotch
terrier); King Lud (a bulldog); King of the Heather (a
dandie-dinmont); Mikado (a Japanese spaniel); Olga (a
deerhound); Romeo (a King Charles spaniel); Royal Krueger
(a beagle); Scottish Leader (a smooth-coated St.Bernard); Sensation (a pointer); Sir Bedivere (a rough-coated St.
Bernard); Spinaway (a greyhound); Toledo Blade (an
English setter); Woodmansterne Trefoil (a collie).
(4) DOG in phrases:
A dog in a doublet. A bold, resolute fellow. In Germany and Flanders
the boldest dogs were employed for hunting the wild boar, and these
dogs were dressed in a kind of buff doublet buttoned to their bodies.
Rubens and Sneyders have represented several in their pictures. A false
friend is called a dog in one's doublet.
Between dog and wolf.
The hour of dusk. “Entre chien et loup. ” St. Roch and
his dog. Two inseparables. “Toby and his dog.” One is never seen
without the other. They lead a cat and dog life. Always
To lead the life of a dog.
To live a wretched life, or a life of debauchery.
(5) DOG, used
metaphorically or symbolically:
Diogenes, the Cynic (B.C. 412-323). When Alexander went to see
him, the young King of Maceaonia introduced himself with these words:
“I am Alexander, surnamed the Great,” to which the philosopher replied:
“And I am Diogenes, surnamed the Dog.” The Athenians raised to his
memory a pillar of Parian marble, surmounted by a dog. (See
Dog of God.
So the Laplanders call the bear. The Norwegians say it “has the
strength of ten men and the wit of twelve.” They never presume to speak
of it by its proper appellation, guouztija, lest it should
revenge the insult on their flocks and herds, but they call it Möddaaigja
(the old man with a fur cloak).
A dead dog.
Something utterly worthless. A phrase used two or three times in
the Bible. (See (6).) A dirty dog. In the East the dog is
still held in abhorrence, as the scavenger of the streets. “Him that
dieth in the city shall the dogs eat” (1 Kings xiv. 11). The French
say, Crotté comme un barbet (muddy or dirty as a poodle), whose
hair, being very long, becomes filthy with mud and dirt. Generally
speaking, “a dirty dog” is one morally filthy, and is applied to those
who talk and act nastily. Mere skin dirt is quite another matter, and
those who are so defiled we call dirty pigs.
A surly dog.
A human being of a surly temper, like a surly dog. Is thy
servant a dog, that he should do this thing? (2 Kings viii. 12,
13). Hazael means, “Am I such a brute as to set on fire the strongholds
of Israel, slay the young men with the sword, and dash their children
to the ground, as thou, Elijah, sayest I shall do when I am king?”
Sydney Smith being asked if it was true that he was about to sit to
Landseer, the animal painter, for his portrait, replied, in the words
of Hazael, “What! is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?”
The Thracian dog.
Like curs, our critics haunt the poet's feast,
And feed on scraps refused by every guest:
From the old Thracian dog they learned the way
To snarl in want, and grumble o'er their prey.
Pitt: To Mr. Spence.
Dogs of war.
The horrors of war, especially famine, sword, and fire.
And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Até by his side, come hot from hell.
Shall in these confines, with a monarch's voice,
Cry `Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war.
Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, iii. 1.
(6) DOG (in Scripture language, whether dead or living, is a
most degrading expression: “After whom is the King of Israel come out?
After a dead dog?”(1 Sam. xxiv. 14.) “Beware of dogs” (Phil. iii. 2), i.e. sordid, noisy professors. Again, “Without are dogs” (Rev.
xxii. 15), i.e. false teachers and sinners, who sin and return
to their sins (2 Peter ii. 21).
There is no expression in the Bible of the fidelity, love, and
watchful care of the dog, so highly honoured by ourselves.
(7) DOG in art.
Dog, in mediaeval art, symbolises fidelity.
A dog is represented as lying at the feet of St. Bernard, St.
Benignus, and St. Wendelin; as licking the wounds of St. Roch; as
carrying a lighted torch in representations of St. Dominic.
Dogs in monuments.
The dog is placed at the feet of women in monuments to
symbolise affection and fidelity, as a lion is placed at the
feet of men to signify courage and magnanimity. Many of the Crusaders
are represented with their feet on a dog, to show that they followed
the standard of the Lord as faithfully as a dog follows the footsteps
of his master.
(8) DOG in proverbs, fables, and proverbial phrases:
Barking dogs seldom bite. (See Barking.)
Dog don't eat dog.
Ecclesia ecclesiam non decimat; government letters are not taxed;
church lands pay no tithes to the church.
A black dog has walked over him.
Said of a sullen person. Horace tells us that the sight of a black
dog with its pups was an unlucky omen. (See Black Dog.)
A dog in the manger.
A churlish fellow, who will not use what is wanted by another, nor
yet let the other have it to use. The allusion is to the well-known
fable of a dog that fixed his place in a manger, and would not allow an ox to come near the hay.
Every dog has his day.
In Latin, “Hodie mihi, cras tibi.” “Nunc mihi, nunc tibi,
benigna” [fortuna]. In German, “Heute mir, morgen dir.” You
may crow over me to-day, but my turn will come by-and-by. The Latin
proverb, “Hodie mihi,” etc., means, “I died to-day, your turn
will come in time.” The other Latin proverb means, fortune visits every
man once. She favours me now, but she will favour you in your turn.
Thus every dog at last will have his day -
He who this morning smiled, at night may sorrow;
The grub to-day's a butterfly to-morrow.
Peter Pindar: Odes of Condolence.
Give a dog a bad name and hang him.
If you want to do anyone a wrong, throw dirt on him or rail against
Gone to the dogs.
Gone to utter ruin; impoverished. He has not a dog to lick a
dish. He has quite cleared out. He has taken away everything. He
who has a mind to beat his dog will easily find a stick. In Latin,
“Qui vult caedere canem facile invenit fustem. ” If you want to
abuse a person, you will easily find something to blame. Dean Swift
says, “If you want to throw a stone, every lane will furnish one.”
“To him who wills, ways will not be wanting.” “Where there's a will
there's a way.”
Hungry dogs will eat dirty pudding.
Those really hungry are not particular about what they eat, and are
by no means dainty. When Darius in his flight from Greece drank from a
ditch defiled with dead carcases, he declared he had never drunk so
It was the story of the dog and the shadow
—i.e. of one who throws good money after bad; of one who gives certa
pro incertis. The allusion is to the well-known fable.
“Illudit species, ac dentibus aëra mordit.”
(Down sank the meat in the stream for the flshes to hoard it.)
Love me love my dog.
“Qui m'aime aime mon chien,”
or “Qui aime Bertrand aime son chien. ”Old dogs will not
learn new tricks. People in old age do not readily conform to new
To call off the dogs.
To break up a disagreeable conversation. In the chase, if the dogs
are on the wrong track, the huntsman calls them off. (French, rompre
Throw it to the dogs.
Throw it away, it is useless and worthless. What! keep a dog and
bark myself! Must I keep servants and myself do their work? You
are like Neville's dog, which runs away when it is called. (See
(9) DOG, DOGS, in Superstitions:
Dogs howl at death. A wide-spread superstition.
In the rabbinical book it saith
The dogs howl when, with icy breath,
Great Sammaël, the angel of death,
Takes thro' the town his flight.
Longfellow: Golden Legend, iii.
The hair of the dog that bit you.
When a man has had a debauch, he is advised to take next morning “a
hair of the same dog,” in allusion to an ancient notion that the burnt
hair of a dog is an antidote to its bite.
(10) DOG, to express the male of animals, as dog-ape,
(11) DOG, applied to inferior plants: dog-brier, dog-berry,
dog-cabbage, dog-daisy, dog-fennel,
dog-leek, dog-lichen, dog-mercury, dog-parsley, dog-violets
(which have no perfume), dog-wheat. (See below, Dog-Grass,
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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