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The meaning and origin of the expression: Dog's breakfast

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Dog's breakfast

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Dog's breakfast'?

A confused mess or muddle.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Dog's breakfast'?

This is a 19th century phrase. The origin is uncertain, although most of the earliest uses of it originate from England. An early example was printed in the London journal The Referee, November 1878 in a review of a play:

There is enough material for fourteen comedies crammed into its three acts, and the good things are flung together in a heap like a dog's breakfast.

A dog's breakfastThe allusion in this metaphorical expression is to the omnivorous nature of dogs and the messy variety of things they might eat given the opportunity.

This is not to be confused with ' a dog's dinner' which has a related but significantly different meaning.

See also: the dog's bollocks.