[Ads-l] like a dog

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 31 20:10:28 EDT 2017


I believe "die like a dog" was an allusion to hanging, not shooting.

Back when people had ropes but not guns.

Cf. the Irish rebel song:

Shoot me like an Irish soldier,
Do not hang me like a dog,
For I fought to free old Ireland
On that cold September morn.

(Not to be confused with the once notorious painting, "September Morn,"
antecedent of the Playboy foldout.)


JL

On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 7:43 PM, Jim Parish <jparish at siue.edu> wrote:

> James Thurber once commented on the line from "Barbara Frietchie", "'Who
> touches a hair of yon gray head / Dies like a dog! March on!' he said."
> Thurber pointed out that he probably meant that such a person would be
> shot. But (continued JT), dogs are not often killed by being shot. Perhaps
> he intended "duck", as ducks *are* often shot, but "Dies like a duck!"
> doesn't have the same impact.
>
> Jim Parish
>
>
> On 7/31/2017 6:26 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>
>> A popular politician likes to use this simile as an expression of
>> contempt.
>> Presumably "die like a dog" is the inspiration. ("Work like a dog" doesn't
>> sound contemptuous to me.)
>>
>> Exx.:
>>
>> She lied like a dog.
>>
>> He choked like a dog.
>>
>> He fired him like a dog.
>>
>> JL
>>
>>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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