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This dog don't hunt

Posted by ESC on November 23, 2008 at 17:59

In Reply to: This dog don't hunt posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 23, 2008 at 12:12:

: : What is the origin of "this dog don't hunt"?

: It's modelled on the 17th-18th century phrase "that cock won't fight". In the days of cock-fighting, a cock that wouldn't fight when out into the pit was a natural metaphor for a plan or theory that simply wouldn't work. A similar sporting metaphor from horse-racing is used when we say that a plan or theory "isn't a runner". (VSD)

Sounds Texan to me. There's a book title that is a variation of that expression: "This Dog'll Hunt: An Entertaining Texas Dictionary" by Wallace O. Chariton (Wordware Publishing, Piano, Texas, 1989, 1990). Also, I've heard a little background chatter on a blues record by an African American woman, "That dog'll hunt. It's going to hunt." Meaning the recording of the song was successful. Everything points south.