Posted by ESC on March 13, 2002
In Reply to: Doggy bag posted by Marian on March 13, 2002
: : : : Is this a British phrase? I'm always met with perplexed frowns when I have used it here.
: : : : Camel
: : : A dog's breakfast, and also maybe more commonly a dog's dinner are both is certainly well-known over here as phrases to describe something that is a complete mess. It's used both more figuratively - "he worked for hours adapting that presentation, but turned it into a real dog's dinner" - and more visually - "she turned up to the party done up like a dog's dinner".
: : Does it have to do with a dog's habit of urping up a meal? Kind of like cats and hair balls. Aren't pets grand?
: A similar phrase with an entirely different meaning is "doggy bag." I wonder if it's in widespread use. If you cannot finish your meal at a restaurant, you can ask your waitperson to wrap it up for you in a doggy bag, that is, any wrapping or container that will suffice for you to take the unfinished meal home. Once there, you may or may not want to feed it to your dog, but, presumably, someone or some pet at home will get to eat it.
Yes, "doggy bag" is widely used in my part of the U.S. A related phrase, "go cup," is not so widely used since drinking and driving is being discouraged.