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The Canine in Conversation
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An illustraton of a man washing dishes spacer
figure 1


dish dog. A person who washes dishes for pay. Sometimes the term is used derogatorily, others as a compliment.

Perhaps this term refers specifically to an itinerant dishwasher, though no reference I found says so explicitly. However, there is a romantic comedy named Dish Dogs about two friends travel from town to town taking jobs as dishwashers until they both find love and must choose separate pathsreference 1 and a memoir called Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States, in which the author, Pete Jordan, repeatedly refers to himself and other dishwashers as dish dogs.reference 2

1. Dish Dogs (2000) (V). 2001. Internet Movie Database. IMDb. Accessed Jan 13 2009 from

2. Jordan, Pete. 2007. Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States. 1st ed. New York: Harper Perennial. 4.

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About the illustrations: Figure 1 shows a person washing dishes by hand. © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation. I presume that as professionals, most dish dogs load machines the way I did when I worked in the cafeteria in high school, such as the one shown on the right in Figure 2. This is a photograph of a Hobart Industrial Dishwasher taken by Wikimedia Commons contributor Rjl2714. It is used here under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

see also: Quick as a dog can lick a dish. Last updated: January 13, 2009
by Alec MacLeod 2001-2008  Dogmatic Technologies Oakland Creative Commons unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Alec MacLeod and included in The Canine in Conversation and any related pages, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Please read the Terms of Use Agreement by Alec MacLeod Dogmatic Technologies