Posted by Shae on December 04, 2002
In Reply to: Re: Whelp help posted by Peter on December 03, 2002
: : : I want to use the term "bitch in whelp" to mean a female dog that is pregnant but has not given birth. Is this the correct usage? I cannot find the phrase in my reference books. Thanks.
: : The Oxford English Dictionary says "in whelp," meaning pregnant, is obsolete, so it won't do unless, for example, you're writing a historical novel and you have a character use the expression.
: This is exactly the situation. Thanks.
Far be it from me to contradict the OED, but "in whelp" is not obsolete when referring to dogs. The term is in common usage among dog breeders to describe the behaviour and condition of a pregnant bitch that is close to parturition.