[Ads-l] like a dog

Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Mon Jul 31 23:43:15 UTC 2017

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

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