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How does "dogs" come to mean "feet"? Options
almostfreebird
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 12:36:33 AM

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How does "dogs" come to mean "feet"?

Context:
She had asked this young man, Mr. Donald King by
name, what his business was with Abby Freemantle, and he had replied: "My
business, ma'am, is pleasure. Your pleasure. Do you like to read? Listen to the radio, perchance?
Or maybe just put your tired old dogs up on a foot hassock and
listen to the world as it rolls down the great bowling alley of the universe?"(The Stand/S. King)

Thanks in advance

NancyLee
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 12:48:27 AM

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I was on my feet all day and I am dog tired.

This is a relatively common sentence. Maybe the dogs became feet from this.

Just guessing...Whistle

Learning is its own reward, and it's fun too!
Shivanand
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 2:49:56 AM

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Dogs indeed mean feet(slang)! This is a direct meaning and not a metaphor! NancyLee's guess is correct! Applause

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन। मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 3:35:38 AM

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I suppose the origin is in Cockney rhyming slang from early 20th century.
"Short for dog's meat" meaning feet.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
NancyUK
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 9:00:51 AM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
I suppose the origin is in Cockney rhyming slang from early 20th century.
"Short for dog's meat" meaning feet.


JJ - I don't think this comes from Cockney rhyming slang - they would use "plates" for feet, i.e. plates of meat = feet.

From what I can find out, it's an American term from the Jazz age. See the following link:

Thread about dogs = feet

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance. Ogden Nash
TL Hobs
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 11:42:40 AM

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I am reminded of the Hush Puppies shoe commercial that said, "My dogs can't breath with shoes on."



"When you don't know where you are going, you have to stick together just in case someone gets there." - Ken Kesey
jmacann
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 2:36:04 PM
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[quote NancyLee, NancyUK & TL Hobs]

Since dogs are also quite outgoing, it may well be true.
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 8:13:25 AM

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Quote:
and·i·ron (ndrn)
n.
One of a pair of metal supports used for holding up logs in a fireplace. Also called dog; also called regionally dog iron, firedog.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/andiron

I've also heard "dog" used in reference to supports for machinery in a wood shop. (Contrary to the TFD note, I first heard "dog" used this way in New England.)

So even if this is not the origin of the phrase, it is yet another etymology that reinforces the use of "dogs" for "feet" as something that one stands on.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
GabhSigenod
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:40:19 AM

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I think the word "dogs" can refer to many things.

Mise, tá mé lán de dea-fhortún.
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 11:58:19 AM

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"Dog" in a shop is a clamp used to hold a piece of wood to the surface of the bench. It's the opposite of an end-clamp or end-vise, which holds the wood perpendicular to the top of the bench.
They slide down into holes on the bench-top and the projection at the top holds down (dogs down) the wood.


Here is a fancier dog, in action.

I suspect the term "dog" may have come from "dog leg".
Although I can find no sourcing for this, the shape of some of the clamps shows why:

Perhaps this is where the term "to dog-down" came from.

Unfamiliar to me: apparently in metal shops, "dogs" are grippers or nippers, used to pull work through a die or (I assume from the "nippers") cut the work off.


And, as for dogs and feet: "My dogs are barking!" Is a perfectly good, though slightly old-fashioned way of saying feet are sore or tired.
tootsie
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:25:00 PM

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I have been all over trying to find this reference, I agree with "plates of meat" and some of the other posters have given great explanations, however, I would really love to ask Stephen King to explain. The Stand is one of my favourite books.


I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost. Winnie-the-Pooh
RubyMoon
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 4:23:04 PM
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Sorry, IMc... I wasn't sure how to "phrase" the post.

I was aiming for "evolution revolution"... so it is correct after-all!

Please forward the game now... anyoned'oh!
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 4:24:11 PM

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RuthP wrote:
"Dog" in a shop is a clamp used to hold a piece of wood to the surface of the bench. It's the opposite of an end-clamp or end-vise, which holds the wood perpendicular to the top of the bench.

<snip>

Perhaps this is where the term "to dog-down" came from.


Indeed, which is why I had to ask twice when I heard someone use it to mean "rail" or "skid".

RuthP wrote:

Unfamiliar to me: apparently in metal shops, "dogs" are grippers or nippers, used to pull work through a die or (I assume from the "nippers") cut the work off.


That's new to me as well. Thanks.
Perhaps it has more to do with a dog's bite than its bark?

So many words, so little time. Dancing

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
RubyMoon
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:06:23 PM
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(Sorry for the above mis-placed post... too many tabs open at once.)

One possibility for dog-tired-feet may be tied into the Aztec use of dog hide/dog fur when crafting shoes, or lining various types of foot apparel with dog skin.

There seems to be many alternate references, such as:

Quote
:Dog tired is an old English phrase usually hyphenated to dog-tired. An adjectival phrase meaning to be physically exhausted, it derives from an old tale of Alfred the Great who used to send his sons out with his extensive kennels of hunting dogs. Whichever of his sons, be it Athelbrod or Edwin, were able to catch more of the hounds would gain their father's right hand side at the dinner table that evening. These chases would leave them 'dog-tired' yet merry at their victory. The tradition was continued for a few generations but is not noted in literature after Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People.Quote

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_did_the_term_dog_tired_originate

All sorts of DOG expressions here:

http://wikidiff.com/nahuatl/dog

Stephen King used many down-Maine idiomatic expressions in his novels. He sometimes combined "his" local dialect with Micmac culture.
Hearts In Atlantis, particularly the middle portion of the book revolving about the University of Maine, is loaded with such down-Maine speak,etc.

But, as they say in Maine, you can't get theyah from heeyah, aayah.









Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 5:33:07 AM

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Neighbour's dog ate my shoes. Now I must go barefoot.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
tootsie
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 5:58:41 AM

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Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war

I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost. Winnie-the-Pooh
almostfreebird
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 7:46:25 AM

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"doggon" appears to have something to do with dog too.


Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 10:10:34 AM

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almostfreebird wrote:

"doggon" appears to have something to do with dog too.


Ahem! That's doggone.
And it doesn't mean the dog is lost.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
leonAzul
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 10:54:57 AM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
almostfreebird wrote:

"doggon" appears to have something to do with dog too.


Ahem! That's doggone.
And it doesn't mean the dog is lost.


The dog is daed? [sic
'em, Cerberus]


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
burma1
Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2018 1:18:07 PM
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as for the word dog. since dogs have been used in history for work of all sorts. and the metal to hold wood in a wood shop is called a dog. i would suspect that since dogs do work for us and our feet are basically our dogs as they work all the time for us. anyway thats my hypothesis. however my cats also call their feet their "kitty dogs" so maybe ill ask them...
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2018 2:16:26 AM

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burma1 wrote:
as for the word dog. since dogs have been used in history for work of all sorts. and the metal to hold wood in a wood shop is called a dog. i would suspect that since dogs do work for us and our feet are basically our dogs as they work all the time for us. anyway thats my hypothesis. however my cats also call their feet their "kitty dogs" so maybe ill ask them...

Hi Burma! Welcome to the forum.
This is a very old topic (the reply before yours was seven years ago!) however, you made me curious - I've always understood the answer to be "Dog's meat" = "feet" as it says in the Etymonline article.
The change to "plates of meat" = "feet" came later. But who knows.

I checked with my neighbour's cat, but she said that her feet are called "Mrrrow", which doesn't really seem relevant.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Parpar1836
Posted: Monday, June 18, 2018 4:53:41 PM
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I recall a short story that I read in 1964 or so, in which a teenaged boy who emulates Kerouac and his cohorts goes to a hangout of "cool" and "hip" older people, where he is treated rudely. A "chic" young woman tells him, "Why don't you call your dogs home?" in reference to his feet being obstacles that she's nearly tripped over.
Squawk Box
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 4:38:44 PM

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And of course, "My dogs are barking."
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