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I'm thinking about some paradox. We all love dogs and  know that they are wonderful creatures, our best friends...

But in our languages (I mean first of all mine)  there are plenty of phrases, also idiomatic expressions, proverbs with a dog in very negative context or meaning. Linquists say that languages change slower than a world around us. A houndred years ago our attitude to dogs was more like objects. The life of the dogs was definitely tougher, they were first of all  functional, working. And in the lanquage is recorded  this time. 

In Polish still  there is a lot of negative expressions with a dog. Some are similar to English: "to lead a dog's life", "you dirty dog!", "to treat somebody like a dog", "to go to the dogs", "dog in the manger".  Poor dog is involved as a subject in many others. We use him to bad-mouth somebody ("wieszać na kimś psy"), to lie through one's teeth ("łgać jak pies"), to serve faithfully ("służyć jak pies"), to call inedible mushrooms, foul weather....We even call cop a dog - "pies". Dog is used as a part of many curses too.

I went through English vocabulary and found a lot of bad phrases. And only few fine, f.e  "dog days" - I like it!

How is in your languages, your tradition, your culture. Do you have more positive expressions with a dog.

Maybe we should create new phrases, new expressions to voice our care, enthusiasm and love for dogs. As James has said: Life is better with a setter! What next...

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Thanks Rob, very true expression:-) My friends used to have airedale terrier girl. She didn't want to sleep with them in their bed. There was our tradition that during my visits they sleep with my three setters. Next morning Wiesio was always very squeezed and happy!

let sleeping dogs lie ;)

Thanks Laura and Jarno.

@ Laura: A wise proverb, it's good to remember it and use.

@ Jarno: interesting thing with "lead a dog's life" - I Polish it means definitely tough, hard, poor life, similar to English, but here  it could be also boring. Maybe in Finland people respect dogs more for a long time, maybe here is recorded their respect to sled dogs resting after work?

Raining 'cats and dogs' and an old car is often referred to as an 'old dog'

A remember some randy old sailors were called "salty dogs".

Thanks Pat, that's very nice expression. In Polish we say "pies na kobiety" (dog for women) about a randy guy picking up the girls incessantly:-)

@ Jarno: pity, that would be fascinating such an oposition in meaning in not so far lanquages, cultures.

@ Lois: thanks, we have in Polish close expression - its raining  that you can't drive the dog out.

Saying "old dog" about old car sounds very tenderly, and I hope that is the meaning:-)

In French we say. Malade comme un chien.....sick like a dog and unfortunately t is rather negative....I will have to think for a positive one :-)

Thanks Catherine. Poor dog, again in negative context but I hope there is a bit of compassion:-)

And then theres the 'Hair of the Dog'. A metaphor used to describe a cure for an alcohol hangover!

Thanks James,  I don't know how to categorize that expression, if  the drink is effective that's  very positive:-)

Oh, and how could i forget that modern day, or urban phrase used mostly by the younger male population, called ''The Dogs Bollocks'', which is used to describe something that is the creme de la creme. As positive as it gets, Anna! (google it if you don't believe me)




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