Posted by ESC on December 20, 1999
In Reply to: Never said 'dog.' posted by Gary Bartram on December 17, 1999
: : : : Are there any phrases that originated where you live?
: : I keep thinking of phrases that are "normal" to me, a native West Virginian raised in a rural area, but are new to city folks. I wanted to add this one to my previous list: "never said dog." If someone leaves without saying goodbye or doesn't have anything to say on a subject, the expressions are: "He left and never said dog." or "She got back from her trip and never said dog." Is this a West Virginia expression or has anyone else heard it elsewhere? We seem to use the word "dog" for a lot of stuff in the U.S. I remember having a discussion with my boss a few years ago. He was born in Iraq but had been in this country for 30+ years. He was still mystified by some phrases. Mr. S. asked what this meant: "the program was dogged with problems." It meant the program was plagued or troubled. And at work this week, I noticed everyone left immediately at quitting time. I said to a coworker, "At 4:30 people take off like scalded dogs." He looked at me with this !?!? expression on his face.
: Here in SW London we may move "like a scalded cat" but "like scalded dogs", no, we like dogs too much and would never harm them by anointing them with a boiling liquid. As to quitting time being 4:30, why, we're barely half way through the afternoon by that time. Strangely enough we do have an expression for someone abandoning the office so fast that one moment they're there and the next they're gone and no one is sure they actually saw them leave: of these folk it's said "they went like a long dog.".
We had a discussion about that expression. I think what we decided was the "long dog" is a greyhound. Here in the U.S. we have a Greyhound bus company and an expression, "Thank God and Greyhound she (or he) is gone."