Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hair of the Dog that Bit You

Today's phrase was contributed by Essex and Deacon, the Key West Collies, who are barking mad about doggie words too! They even provided me with the Wikepedia reference for the information. Thanks fellas. I'm always happy to learn a new phrase.

If you've been following the dog series, you'll know that dog phrases can have rather strange origins and sometimes bizzare reflections on the canine world. The phrase "Hair of the Dog that Bit You" or its shorter version "Hair of the Dog" is a classic example.

This phrase, like many others (e.g. Raining cats and dogs) have its origins in old England. For some strange inexplicable reason, it was believed that you could treat a rabid dog bite by placing the hair of that dog in the bite wound. I certainly wouldn't recommend that treatment! But back in those times, there were many old wives tales. Anyway, this phrase soon became a metaphor for hangover treatment. If you've had too much to drink the night before and suffer from a hangover, have some more alcohol the next morning to cure the hangover. Hmm...

This concept of solving a problem with more of the problem surprisingly isn't limited to old England. It extends to Hungary, Mexico, Central America, Poland, Russia (just to name a few). So, obviously, it is a popular concept. Now, I don't know if it works or not. It seems to me it's just a good excuse by some who love their drink to drink some more. What do you think?


Cinnamon and Mint said...

Hi Kess,

I didn't know this expression. Thank you for telling us about it. However, hair of a dog as a treatment for a bite by the dog? Very interesting!!


Glad you enjoyed the hair of the dog. You have to admit that is just a dog gone good story.

Essex & Deacon

Dughallmor Beagles said... of the dog may seem to work, but I think it just prolongs the onset of a hangover!
Well done to Essex & Deacon, we didn't know how the saying originated, how interesting.
Love this series, keep up the good work!
Slobbers xx

Anonymous said...

My mom's been reading that phrase in books for years. She likes the dog hair part, but it does seem like strange advice for people with hangovers - or dog bites. It's interesting how expressions like that catch on. At this house, we always have hair of the dog - everywhere!

See ya!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage said...

I'm with Joey!

I spread my love all ovFUR!

Tank woo fur sharing!

PeeEssWoo: Mom says all this hair talk has her ready fur a Salty Dog!

Martha said...

Hi Kess
Thank you for that very informative post.
That is a well used phrase in Scotland.
Have you discovered where the phrase dog tired comes from yet?
love and kisses
Martha & Bailey xxx

Kathryn and Ari said...

eeeehhhhhh. . . at least one of us is having a hard time with the idea of putting dog hair in a wound. Then again, there's so much of it in our house these days, it's probably in wound and everything else.

Thanks for the lesson. We love these posts!

Lorenza said...

Hi, Kess!
Yes, here in Mexico people use that "remedy" a lot!
Kisses and hugs

Agatha and Archie said...

Kess you are just a wealth of information..We love this kind of stuff!! Love A+A

One Little Birdie said...

As a librarian, our mom is very interested in the history of phrases, so she's very much enjoying these posts.

Love, Shiloh & Guinness

Amber-Mae said...

This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing with us gal. About the shoot, we did not get paid. Mommy doesn't care about money, she just wants me to be featured & be famous! Heehee!

Solid Gold "Actress"

lilyruth said...

The one about he hangover to take aanother drink in the morning I think that works for it works on a friend of mine when he has a hangover first thing he does is open up a beer in the morning and he feels much beter. I think tho he just like to drink. ha ha ha and wants to start all over again the following day! Great article I enjoyed reading it.

Thanks for signing my guest book.