[Ads-l] "put on the dog" -- Mississippi vernacular?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Nov 2 00:41:22 UTC 2014

I'm familiar with it, and I've only been close to 
Mississippi.  One quotation in the OED:

S.v. "lace-curtain":  1934   J. T. Farrell Young 
Manhood Studs Lonigan xviii. 282   They were all 
trying to put on the dog, show that they were 
lace-curtain Irish, and lived in steam-heat.


At 11/1/2014 12:06 PM, George Thompson wrote:

> From a front-page article in today's (November 1) NYTimes, on extravagant
>partying before football games on the campus of the University of
>OXFORD, Miss. — Perhaps there isn’t a word for the ritualizzed pregame
>revelry on the University of Mississippi campus. “Tailgating” certainly
>does not do it justice. It might be a gathering of football fans before a
>game, but it hardly resembles those celebrated scenes in Green Bay and
>Kansas City, which are modest by comparison.
>For one, there are the $71,000 portable toilets. And then there’s this
>fall’s $750,000 university budget for the quintessentially Southern marvel
>known as the Grove. The price tags, and the orchestration, just keep
>getting grander.
>“We want to put on the dog here,” one fan said, using regional vernacular
>for “over the top.”
>I'm pretty sure that my mother used the expression, and she was an old-time
>New England sort.  The OED at least agrees that it's not limited to
>Mississippi.  I take it that it wasn't known to the reporter, though.
>  *P26. * *colloq.* (orig. *U.S.*). to put on (the) dog    : to make a
>stylish or flashy display, to assume pretentious airs.
>1865   in J. S. McKee *Throb of Drums* (1973) 216   We..go out on grand
>reviews..and put on a D—D sight of Dog generally.
>1924   W. J. Locke *Coming of Amos* xii. 171,   I don't want to put on dog,
>but the Lord didn't give me physical strength for nothing.
>1926   W. J. Locke *Old Bridge* ii. v. 74   Young Blake puts on dog and
>condescends to take the order.
>1940   P. G. Wodehouse *Eggs, Beans & Crumpets* 48   An editor's unexampled
>opportunities for putting on dog and throwing his weight about.
>1962   ‘A. Gilbert’ *No Dust in Attic* xiv. 190   Matron put on a lot of
>dog about the hospital's responsibility.
>2003   *N.Y. Times* (National ed.) 2 Feb. ix. 8/5,   I abhor the social
>stuff... I'm not good at putting on the dog. It's so tiring.
>Another expression in the article, probably not coined by the speaker
>"The tents themselves can be fashion statements. Some fans hire interior
>decorators. One tent on the Walk of Champions (the Grove’s Main Street) is
>painted with zebra stripes. One of its owners is Jane Foster, a converted
>Mississippi State fan. She brings in a rock band once a year.
>“We never lose a party here at Ole Miss,” she said."
>George A. Thompson
>The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>Univ. Pr., 1998..
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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