"cut open a dog" (make a blunder)

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Wed Aug 1 16:34:48 UTC 2001

    What could possibly be the rationale behind Colorado's 19th
century "cut open a dog" (= make a blunder)? Is there perhaps a story
or joke behind this expression?

---Gerald Cohen

At 8:56 AM -0400 7/31/01, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>WHOLE SHEBANG--Bayard Taylor was the "Great American Traveler," and
>I've been going through a number of his books.  Several are on the
>Making of America database.  Does DARE have this?
>    From COLORADO: A SUMMER TRIP (G. P. Putnam & Son, NY, 1867) by
>Bayard Taylor, pg. 60:
>    The Colorado dialect, in other respects, is peculiar.  A
>dwelling-house is invariably styled "shebang;" and the word, in many
>cases, is very appropriate.  The Spanish _corral_ (always
>mispronounced _correll_) has become completely naturalized, and is
>used as a verb, meaning to catch or collect.  A supply of any kind
>is an "outfit;" a man does not shout, but "lets a yell out of him;"
>and one who makes a blunder "cuts open a dog."

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