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Doge

(1 syl., g = j). The chief magistrate in Venice while it was a Republic. The first duke or doge was Anafesto Paoluccio, created 697. The chief magistrate of Genoa was called a doge down to 1797, when the Republican form of Government was abolished by the French. (Latin, dux, a “duke” or “leader.”

“For six hundred years ... her [Venice's] government was an elective monarchy, her ... doge possessing, in early times at least, as much independent authority as any other European sovereign.” —Ruskin: Stones of Venice, vol. i. chap. i.p. 3.

Doge.

The ceremony of wedding the Adriatic was instituted in 1174 by Pope Alexander III., who gave the doge a gold ring from off his own finger in token of the victory achieved by the Venetian fleet at Istria over Frederick Barbarossa, in defence of the Pope's quarrel. When his Holiness gave the ring he desired the doge to throw a similar one into the sea every year on Ascension Day, in commemoration of the event. (See Bucentaur.)

Dirty dog.
(See under DOG, No. 5.) This alludes more to the animal called a dog, but implies the idea of badness.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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