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Idioms are a usually local expression way of communicating information. Idioms make up a significant part of a place’s local culture. Although not as common a theme as cat idioms, they are still very present in the colloquial English language.

One of the reasons this type of idiom is so popular is that dogs are one of the 2 most common pets in the UK. Dogs have characteristics that endear them to humans, such as their loyalty and affectionate nature. These behavioral characteristics have led to people creating some of these idioms. In this article, I will select 5 of my favourite dog-based idioms, explain their logic, meanings and give examples of how to use them.

Dog eat dog

This idiom is used to refer to a situation of fierce competition in which people are willing to harm each other in order to succeed.

The business world is tough and cruel, it’s completely dog-eat-dog.

To have a dog in the race/fight

This idiom refers to a state of indifference or impartiality. It means they are not picking a side of the argument. This idiom comes from the banned sport of dog fighting or the legal sport of dog racing.

When your parents are arguing, you are usually neutral because you don’t have a dog in the fight (or race).

Every dog has its day

Every person has a chance to shine or have a moment of luck. Everyone has successes regardless of how much they struggle in life.

My friend has had a difficult time in his new job, but his last presentation went well. Every dog has its day, he deserved this luck and success.

A dog’s dinner

A way of calling something a mess could be in terms of appearance or a general lack of organisation. This comes from how messily dogs eat. The president made a dog’s dinner of the situation, the country is now a mess.

I was always a bad painter; my pictures always looked like a dog’s dinner.

In the doghouse

It’s a way of saying you are in trouble or someone is angry at you. It comes from the thought that your partner is so angry with you that they make you sleep outside with the dog in its kennel. This is often used in couples but sometimes in other situations.

He forgot their anniversary, and now he is in the doghouse, and his wife is furious.

I hope you enjoyed this article and managed to use these idioms in your daily English conversations.

EnglishIdioms & expressions

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