Dog Idioms in English! The following lesson provides a list of idioms about dogs with their meanings from the A to Z of animal idioms with ESL printable infographic.
An idiom is a common word or phrase which means something different from its literal meaning but can be understood because of their popular use.
Because idioms can mean something different from what the words mean it is difficult for someone not very good at speaking the language to use them properly. Some idioms are only used by some groups of people or at certain times.
Common Dog Idioms
Here is the list of the most common idioms relating to Dog in English:
Gone to the dogs = Something has lost its good qualities and gone bad.
A doggy bag = A bag in which you put leftover food usually from a restaurant
All bark no bite = Someone that makes a lot of noise but takes no action
Barking up the wrong tree = Arguing with the wrong person
Call off the dogs = Instruct someone to stop behaving aggressively toward someone.
Can’t teach an old dog new tricks = Said to mean that it is very difficult to teach someone new skills or to change someone’s habits or character
Dog tired = Extremely tired; worn out
Dog-eared = Having the corners worn or battered with use
Doggy style = Describing the manner of sexual intercourse in which one partner (typically a male) penetrates the other from behind.
Dogsbody (UK) = A person who is given boring, menial tasks to do.
Every dog has its day = Everyone gets lucky sometimes
Fighting like cats and dogs = Consistently fighting with each other
Hair of the dog = An alcoholic drink is taken to cure a hangover.
His bark is worse than his bite = He acts threatening, but he doesn’t actually hurt you.
In the doghouse = In trouble with someone due to one’s misdeeds or blunders.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world = The world is highly competitive.
It’s a dog life = A hard life
Let sleeping dogs lie = Do not bring up a subject that might cause trouble
Like a dog with two tails = To be very happy.
Puppy dog eyes = A facial expression showing credulous or unsophisticated innocence or naivety.
Puppy love = Intense but relatively shallow romantic attachment, associated with adolescents.
Raining cats and dogs = Heavy rain
See a man about a dog = To leave and not say where you going
Sick as a dog = Feeling very very sick
Teach an old dog new tricks = Teach someone old, something new
The dog’s bollocks (UK) = It means the best
The dog’s dinner (UK) = A mess or muddle.
Top dog = Boss or leader
Underdog = The one that is weaker or less chance of winning
Work like a dog = Work hard
Dog eat dog = Ruthless or cruel competition
Three dog night = A very cold night.
Hot dog = Wow, awesome
Dog’s chance = A very slim chance.
Go to the dogs = To go to ruin; degenerate.
Put on the dog = To make an ostentatious display of elegance, wealth, or culture.