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Crikey!
British Invasion Redux

Blame it on the London Olympics, Harry Potter, Downton Abbey or fascination with the royals, but Brit-speak seems to be all the rage these days. Oft-heard terms such as cheers, brilliant, posh, loo, toff, mate, queue and even crikey are creeping into our everyday conversation. So, let’s bring these dog-related expressions across the pond as well.

Dog’s bollocks: Something really fantastic. (Not to be confused with “bollocks,” which is rubbish, er, nonsense.) Often shortened to “the dog’s.” Perhaps derived from dogs’ fascination with and time spent investigating their “down-unders.”

Mutt’s nuts: Something fantastic or excellent. Often shortened to “the mutt’s,” which is another way of saying, yup, the “dog’s bollocks.”

Puppy’s privates: The best; yet another, slightly more refined, take on the previous two.

Dog’s breakfast: A real mess. (Ed. note: I guess they don’t do gourmet pet food over there.)

Dog’s dinner: To be overdressed, or ostentatiously decked out.

Dog ride: Tagging along with someone doing an errand, or simply out and about.

Dog collar: A type of collar worn by the clergy. Also, the oversize head on a pint of Guinness.

Dog-end: A corruption of “docked-end”— a cigarette butt.

Dogsbody: A go-fer, or someone doing menial or boring work.

Dog-eye: Keep a look out.

Doggy: Stylish, of smart appearance.

Dogs are barking: Feet are tired and aching. For example, “Do you mind if I sit? My dogs are barking!”

Dog’s wages : Working just for food as payment for one’s services (Scots slang).

Give a dog a bad name: Someone with a bad reputation who’s blamed for everything.

And, lest we forget, there’s Cockney rhyming slang:
Dog and bone: Telephone.
Dog and pup: Cup.
Dog and duck: Ruck (a fight).
Dog’s tooth: Truth.

To all of which we say, “Dog save the Queen!” Given her devotion to her Corgis, that’s not much of a stretch.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 73: Spring 2013
Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and editor in chief. thebark.com
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