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

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 2 16:05:44 UTC 2014

On Sun, Nov 2, 2014 at 4:33 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 8:41 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> 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
>> >Mississippi"
>> >
>> >"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.
>> I'm familiar with it, and I've only been close to Mississippi.
> See HDAS.
> Familiar to me since childhood, but I admit I haven't heard it in some
> years.

Or see DARE, s.v. "dog"...

5 in phrr _put on (the) dog_:
a occas _put on the dogs_, _throw_ (or _kill_) _the dog_: To dress
stylishly; to be ostentatious or make a display of stylishness; to
affect an air of importance.
scattered, but less freq South Atlantic

The accompanying map of survey results shows attestations in many
states, but *not* Mississippi:



Ben Zimmer

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

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