Nuffnang

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dog's bollocks

Over the past couple of months, I've come across some really strange dog phrases/idioms whilst doing research for the "Dog Series" but the phrase "dog's bollocks" wins hands down. First off, let's break this phrase into its parts. "Dog's" is straightforward - it means something that belongs to a dog. Now, "bollocks" is a coarse British slang for testicles and is typically associated with a negative connotation. For example, bollocks is an exclamation of contempt "Nonsense" or "Rubbish". "Bollocking" is a slang meaning "to reprimand someone" whilst "to drop a bollock" means "to make a mistake".

After that little introduction, I'm sure that few can guess the meaning of "dog's bollocks". Contrary to the negative connotation associated with the word "bollocks", the phrase "dog's bollock's" actually means "Excellent - the absolute apex". As with most strange phrases, the origin of this phrase is hazy, not unlike the weather we've been having in Kuala Lumpur, thanks to our thoughtful neighbours across the Straits who practice open burning to clear land. But I digress. While dogs do enjoy licking their genitals as part of their grooming ritual, there's no evidence that this phrase is linked to that.


Instead, it appears that this phrase may merely be a nonsensical term for excellent, joining other similar animal phrase such as "cat's whiskers", "bee's knees", etc which were coined post World War 1.

So, how would you use this term? Here's a fine example:
"When it comes to love and loyalty, we dogs are the dog's bollocks."

If you want to read an example of love and loyalty, my friend Uncle Bok Jae posted the story of Lucky the Golden Retriever. An amazing story! Uncle Bok Jae tagged Mama to share a tale about me. Coincidentally, Mama FINALLY watched "Marley and Me" and was inspired to share her tale about "My Beagle and me" on her blog. I hope you enjoy reading both stories.

13 comments:

River said...

My mom love's phrases but says she never heard of dog's bollocks. Very strange.

love & wags,
River

Lorenza said...

Hi, Kess!
Like River, we had never heard about dog's bollocks!
I am going to read those stories now!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Agatha and Archie said...

Well Archie says he doesn't think he has any bollocks.....but he likes the phrase anyway...Love A+A

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

We've nevfur heard it either but it is amusing!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

KEY WEST COLLIES said...

If dog's bollocks is a good thing, then why do hooomans neuter us boy dogs?

Inquiring collies want to know.

Essex & Deacon

with love, Madison said...

Guess what? We know a dog that has prostetic bollocks! It's a Great Dane and actually the bollocks are kinda small. Can you believe that H-Mom asked the man, "Why didn't you get him BIGGER ones?" hahahahahaha everyone was laughing their bollocks off!

happy said...

We've never heard of this phrase before. Guess we learn something new each day.

Cookie and Cinnamon's Mum said...

Another new phrase!! I feel I am getting more intelligent thanks to your dog series!

Fred said...

That's a new one to me!

Martha Basset said...

We have heard of the phrase over here in the UK.
We have never thought of the meaning before but you are right it is used in the context of something being very good or excellent.
We have often heard people say when they are really pleased with something that it is just the 'dog's bollock'.
Thank you for researching into it yet again.
Keep up the good work.
love
Martha & Bailey xxx

Gennasus said...

We know this one too.

Your translation "Excellent - the absolute apex", although quite true, made me laugh. I was trying to imagine those words being used instead of the coarser version...... can't see it somehow!

Dughallmor Beagles said...

Kess......this post IS the dog's bollocks! And if we'd known, Alfie would have been happy to donate an appropriate photo (because if Carlsberg made bollocks....) :o)
Oh my, we've missed visiting you and everyone else so much, we're just starting to work our way through the (very long) list and must say, we are enjoying it so far....but chuckling over this.....well, it's been the absolute apex!
See you again soon friend (our pc issues are history!) keep up the excellent work.
Slobbers xx

Cocoa the Beagle said...

Hey Kess!

We have an award for ya! C'mon over!

Wags,
Cocoa and Barley

Thanks for signing my guest book.