Why this section?
I never imagined the response I would get when I wrote the first dog-related words post. A lot of mails and suggestions came in, and these mentioned a number of dog-related words (slang included). And geez, I had fun again; sniffing my way around an Online dictionary and confirming the meanings/origins/usages of these words. And in this post, I share the results of my dogged pursuit. Oops, here it goes! The first dog-related word for this post: dogged. We talked about this adjective in the last post. It is also used in the ‘-ing’ form: dogging. What does dogging mean? Well, quite a few things. One of its meanings is the same as dogged, that is being relentless in one’s pursuit. Another of its meaning is ‘to follow closely’, just like a dog. The logic behind this is obvious. Its third meaning is the tricky one, and where the word is used as a slang word in Britain: to publicly have sex. Well, this is again logical, isn’t it? Dogs do not keep things a lot of things private and rather open about them. Well, I must say that is some life, a dog’s life.
A dog’s life? Why does that ring a bell? Well, because this idiom has a specific meaning: something that you say which means that life is hard and unpleasant. Well you have to agree with me, all in the life of a dog isn’t pleasant. But one thing for sure, dogs are do-gooders for sure. Or we reduce it to ‘dogooder’ (grammatically incorrect, as the word actually is do gooder), then we can remember the meaning of this phrase easily. Dogs are do-gooders, they do a lot of good, at times immeasurable in itself. And what does a man return the favor with? At times, his dogmas come in the way of truly appreciating the qualities of this human companion. I see so many people who throw stones at dogs, get stay dogs incinerated because they believe they are not sanitized enough, treat dogs merciless, just because of their dogmas, their rigid beliefs that are based on personal bias rather than reasoning. It is these people with their dogmatic beliefs that treatment and not the dogs, isn’t it.
Well, all I can say now is this two-bit verse based on my emotions of doggy-love:
A dog’s life is tough
Lived in a huff
At times all he gets to eat is puff
But he is made of cute stuff
Woof woof woof!
Geez that is a bad attempt at sentimental dog poetry. But wait, there is a word related to dogs and poetry: doggerel.
According to Wikipedia, doggerel is a derogatory term for verse considered of little literary value. The word probably derived from dogs, suggesting either ugliness, puppyish clumsiness, or unpalatability (as in food fit only for dogs). Well, the above isn’t quite doggerel but it is not bad, isn’t it?
Well, I did make a dog’s breakfast of my attempt at a doggerel. Wait, what kind of breakfast is this? Well, a dog’s breakfast is to make a mess of something, a poor job. Well, a wordsmith like me will have his days where he would make a mess of things, after all of us have these days. Some of us have them more often than others, and these men are not men, but dog bodies, involved in menial work and drudgery. Glad that I do not live the life of a dog body. I lie doggo until I write my pieces, hidden in a corner of my study and punching away at the keys of my laptop. What I do here? Introduce another dog word, good heavens; it’s raining dogs out here. The last dog word was concealed pretty well, wasn’t it? Well, it means the same. Doggo is an adverb that means ‘Quietly in concealment’.
Well, I have dogeared (worn or shabby from overuse or of pages from having corners turned down) a number of my research books, and have a whole bag of dog based idioms ready to be shared. But that is the work for another day. The next post of the series is decided I guess.