Posted by ESC on January 12, 2011 at 00:25
In Reply to: Keep a bull pup posted by ESC on January 12, 2011 at 00:18:
: : : Mr. Conan Doyle uses a phrase in Sherlock Holmes (sorry, I don't know which): someone who "keeps a bull pup" is said to have a quick and bad temper; have you heard of this saying?
: : I've never heard it, but I think the meaning is fairly clear, and the allusion plain.
: : Oh, and on an incidental but pedantic note, it's Sir Arthur, not Mr Conan Doyle. Sorry about that.
: : DFG
: Is now a good time for me to reveal that I am both a Kentucky colonel AND an admiral in the Kentucky navy? Please use my titles in future.
A bull pup is a pistol -- it barks or growls. U.S., mid to late 19th century. “Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang” by Jonathon Green (Wellington House, London, 1998). Page 166.