phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Dogsbody

Posted by Marcus on December 28, 2000

In Reply to: Re: Dogsbody posted by ESC on December 27, 2000

: : : Does anyone have any idea where this expression came from - for those who are given the menial tasks of this world? I've looked in the Archives and found no answer as to the origin.
: : : Have a good 2001!

: : I am away from my library at the moment. If memory serves, I found the expression "dogsbody" in a book of nautical terms and it referred to a "lowly" meal served to underlings. I'll post again after I've checked my references.

: DOGSBODY - "A not very popular dish aboard ship which consisted of passengers' leftovers mixed with ships biscuits and reheated. A meal without much status now applied to those who once ate it." (From "Salty Dog Talk: Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions" by Bill Beavis and Richard G. McCloskey, Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1995; first published in Great Britain, 1983.) Another source: ".noun orig nautical. A junior person, esp. one to whom a variety of menial tasks is given; a drudge, a general utility person.(compare) earlier nautical slang sense, dried peas boiled in a cloth." (From "The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang" by John Ayto and John Simpson, Oxford University Press, New York, 1992.)

:It sort of reminds me of the nautical reference to balogna as horsecock. always raised a groan at the prospects of cold cuts after a hard day.