A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Dog business just don't make sense!

Post 101

fatty the underweight canadian vegitarian

quite a bit of english slang is based on context. if you're looking at a car and someone says with contemp in their voice, "it's a dog" then it probably is bad. as a canadian raised with a lot of brittish influence, i've come to realize that british folk (and those of you from ireland) make up phrases spur of the moment. for instance (while looking at a dead sparrow) "poor thing, that's a real apple pie at noon on a sunday" even though i've never heard this, knowing the person was british (or irish) i would immediately associate that "apple pie at noon" meant a shame. see. there's just no account for those freaky birts (or irish)

Dog business just don't make sense!

Post 102

Trillian's child

That is one gem of an observation, a real strawberry-trifle-in-the-sunset

Dog business just don't make sense!

Post 103


Oh look now, this is going to far. If you make it up as you go along, how will we ever understand?

Can we leave it at dogs with all their bits and pieces?smiley - smiley

A made up example of use...

Post 104

Is mise Duncan

So, I got this new Rover at the weekend...all alloys and full body kit - it looked like the dogs.
I dropped round to a mates and he gave it a gander and said, "are you barking mad, all Rovers are dogs" and I said "not this one, this is the puppies privates"
On the way home, the bitch thing broke down so I called up a garage on the dog and bone, and a grease monkey came out to give it a butchers and he said "its yer dog-tooth gearing, innit .. its gone to the dogs. Tell yer what, I'll take it off your hands for a pony".
I was sick as a parrot, gutted like a kipper..but I took the pony to be rid of the Rover; got off my high horse and got on the bus.

Is it getting any clearer? smiley - smiley

A made up example of use...

Post 105


Oh my, oh my! More dogs than 101 Dalmations; but what's happened to me - I think I understood what you were saying!

(Ok, I admit there are several bits in there that went straight over my head. I shall have to consult someone very wise...)

Dog business just don't make sense!

Post 106

Sheriff Fatman

Maybe we do it just to keep the rest of the world on it's toes? Have you encountered cockney rhyming slang yet, the potteries dialect, or heard a yorkshireman (or woman)?

As for the Scottish, even I give up on trying to understand them!!

British English - Dogs

Post 107

Sheriff Fatman

maybe because it [email protected]!#ing knackers when you are kicked there?

A made up example of use...

Post 108

Is mise Duncan

I shouldn't worry about it - even I don't know what a 'pony' is in terms of money .... I've a feeling its either 25 or 50 quid...?

A made up example of use...

Post 109

Wand'rin star

Didn't your mother teach you not to use words you don't know the meaning of?


Post 110

Sheriff Fatman

For even more confusion take a look here http://www.viz.co.uk/profanisaurus/profanis.htm


Post 111

Sheriff Fatman

Another usage of the word dog that's not been mentioned:

Newcastle Brown Ale.

Could I have a bottle of The Dog please barman?


Post 112

Sheriff Fatman



Post 113

Is mise Duncan

Is it _the_ dog? I always asked for a "bottle of dog" - but only in the wine bar, as to ask for a Newcastle Brown fromn the neck when there's beer available is all wrong smiley - smiley.

There's also a local [Dublin] phrase "Doing the dog" which seems to mean very heavy drinking - but sure, what doesn't in these parts smiley - winkeye

What an example!

Post 114


I have had your example explained/translated for me. I must say, I'm very impressed how you got all those references in there.

There must be an article in this thread somewhere, on the unique contribution of the doggy metaphor to the English language.smiley - smiley

a canadian perspecitive

Post 115

fatty the underweight canadian vegitarian

it is probably also important to not e the use of "dogs" or "pups" to describe feet or shoes, here in canada. for instance, "i've been playing hockey all day and my dogs are just killing." or "my friend alex is really tall, you should see the size of the pups he wears."


Post 116

Sheriff Fatman

As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, 's' will be used instead of the soft 'c'. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard 'c' will be replaced with 'k.' Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced by 'f'. This will make words like 'fotograf' 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent 'e's in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing 'th' by 'z' and 'w' by 'v'.

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou', and similar changes vud of kors; be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil b no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand echozer.

Ze drem vil finali kum tru!!

Please Excuse the Rudeness, but I must also offer this up....

Post 117

The Cad

Much as the word 'b*****ks' is integral to life in Britain in the latter half of the twentieth century and beyond, please do not forget that most charming of colloquilisms - "w****r".

Hours of fun can be gleamed from the fact that up until recently, the majority of the American public had no knowledge of it's meaning over here, hence leading to one of it's most memorable uses in that excellent show "Married with Children", where the main female character, Peg Bundy, has the maiden name of "W****r".

The episode where her family came to stay was, to say the least, beyond all expectations. smiley - smiley

Just my two-penneth worth. smiley - winkeye

Dog business just don't make sense!

Post 118


The reason non-British people cannot make head-or-tail of British English is because they are not supposed to, that's the whole point!

Cockney Rhyming slang was devised in London by dockers and merchants as a way of hiding their intensions behind a "code". This developed over the years and became a "dialect" of East London. To make rhyming slang even more confusing to the uninitiated, just the "rhyme" is used. So if someone tells you to "Put on some Tilbury's, go up the apples and get on the dog to order a ruby...." what you're being told is "put on some socks (Tilbury Docks), go up the stairs (Apples'n'Pears) and get on the phone (Dog and Bone) to order a curry (Ruby Murray)".....

To be officially called a Cockney you have to born within the sound of Bow Bells (the Church in the London Borough of Bow).

I'm what's known as a Rye House Cockney smiley - smiley People who are the decendents of Londoners who moved outwards through Hertfordshire and who have basically destroyed the local accent and dialect with a watered down East London version....

Dog reference

Post 119


Just came across the following link


(Scroll down to the 'Dog' entry - many related entries below and on next page)

Given it's from the 1913 Webster's dictionary, I suppose they are (or were) American English usages, unless Webster also included words that were principally British, to aid transatlantic understanding?

I guess it illustrates that you don't just need a wide vocabulary of single words to understand English, but ideally you need to know the dozens of different meanings that each word or short phrase has.
If we had separate words for each *meaning*, I wonder how many words the average English-speaker would know?

Dog business just don't make sense!

Post 120


And there is a need to disguise your intention to order a curry over the telephone?smiley - winkeye

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