What does it mean to compare someone or some thing to a dog? This site explores the ways in which references to dogs are used in vernacular English, especially as they reveal social dynamics in the contemporary United States. Terms, metaphors, and cultural references that evoke dogs are discussed individually, including history, usage, and significance. The subject is also broadly addressed in the keynote essay, “Dog as Self and Other.” Illustrations provide visual analogies to the references, depictions of the applications of terms, visual representations of things described or referred to in the written texts, and commentary on usage and definition.
Last added to or updated: April 20, 2014.