Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday Trivia: like a dog in a manger


First - what does it mean? Well, if you're acting 'like a dog in a manger," you're selfishly withholding something that's useless to you from someone who could use it.

But where did the saying come from?

Photo courtesy Steve Evans, via Creative Commons

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us that its origins are from an old Greek fable about a dog laying in a manger, not because he wanted to eat the hay but because he wanted to prevent an ox from being able to do so.

The first known use was in the second century CE by a writer named Lucian. It was first included in Aesop's Fables in 1476.


_____________
Sources:  Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Wikipedia
Also: "The Works of Lucian of Samosata". Ebooks.adelaide.edu.au. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2010-08-28.

17 comments:

  1. Interesting. Now we know! he he

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww... Mario beat me too it. I was gonna say "interesting..." too. purrs

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually we have never heard of the saying but it is a good one to remember. Have a Terrific Thursday
    Best wishes Molly

    ReplyDelete
  4. We didn't know that - we'll try to remember it and amaze everybody with our knowledge!!
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Even though the saying started with a dog, that sounds exactly like a cat's MO, at least at our house! Purrs and hugs from the kitties at www.thecatonmyhead.com, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well the dog may be laying in the manger...but the CAT is lurking up high in the rafters, ready to pounce.
    ; ) Katie

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now if I was asked I would have thought it was something biblical...maybe about the dog in the manger with Mary & Joseph or something...now I know! Looked at those kitty home design ideas too...she does know what a cat would like...I want to see dog designs next

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MOL! Mommy accidentally hit publish on next Tuesday's post - you gotted a sneak preview!!

      Delete
  8. Never heard of that, you sure are making us intellegent'z..Wez will get the grown ups wiff thiz :) xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh yeah, show them humans just who runs the household!! Heee!

      Delete
  9. I never heard that one either, but I hear hay can be fun to play in!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think I ever heard that phrase. There was a story in the paper about how they put a dog in the manger at St. Patrick's Cathedral that may have mentioned it.

    Whazzup Allie!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does that mean he put the baby Jesus out? Oops, wrong story!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cool! Thats like when WE curl up in the middle of the bed when we know TBT wants to go to sleep...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very cool! Do you know, the Human does "An Allusion a Day" with her Honors English students--it's the only thing they seem to remember years later. She thinks she'll use this one! But really--didja have to put that picture of a WOOFIE on your blog???

    ReplyDelete
  14. why that is a new one for me..good explanation, thanks

    ReplyDelete

Coolio! A comment? For US?