In Reply to: The patient dog gets the fattest bone posted by Smokey Stover on March 18, 2010 at 17:36:
: : What is the origin and meaning of the phrase 'The patient dog eats the fatteth (or is it fattest?) bone'?
: It appears to be "an African saying." It is called that on a Website devoted to Michael Jackson, see:
: But it also appears in the blogs or posts of some African authors, always identified, if at all, as a saying. It probably has to do with the behavior of dogs in wild packs, but perhaps not. It may not be true, but without knowing the exact origin it's impossible to say.
: The message is something like: Patience has its own reward, whether it's the fattest bone or some other triumph. Patience in the face of adversity will be rewarded.
: The superlative (e.g., fattest) can be achieved by adding the -est suffix, unless there is already an established superlative form. The -th or -eth suffix is used in ordinal numbers, except where an alternative already exists (as in first, second and third).
That saying never really made much sense to me. I thought they were going with the "patience is a virtue" angle but it seems counter intuitive. I can imagine that the patient dog is the one who goes hungry. The patient one may get the bone (after the not so patient ones eat all the meat)