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Re: Man about a dog

Posted by R. Berg on August 30, 2001

In Reply to: Re: Man about a horse posted by ESC on August 29, 2001

: : Does anyone know where the phrase "I need to see a man about a horse" come from?

: TO SEE A MAN ABOUT A DOG (OR HORSE) - "Although in the late nineteenth century, to 'see a man about a dog' meant to visit a woman for sexual purposes, it now means to go to the bathroom. It is, of course, a traditional answer to the questions Where are you going or What's your destination? The variations on these expressions are endless and include: Go see a dog about a horse, go and see a dog about a man, go and shoot a dog, go and feed a dog, go and feed the goldfish, go and mail a letter and go to one's private office." From the "The Wordsworth Book of Euphemism" by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver (Wordsworth Editions, Hertfordshire, 1995).

: And on an old blues recording I have, the performer said he had to "go see a man about a horse" and he meant he was going to go do some drugs. A little play on "horse" for heroin.

Archive 9 has more on "see a man about a dog" at
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/9/messages/439.html
(or use link below--same thing)