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hound-dog mile. A long distance. Specifically it is said to be “the distance a hound-dog chases a rabbit before he (the hound-dog) drops dead.”reference 1

If this is to be believed, hound-dogs do not seem so very hardy. Either that or “mile” is extremely misleading. Humans regularly run marathons of over 25 times the length of an actual mile without significant death rates. Am I kidding myself to imagine that the stamina of dogs is at least equivalent to ours? This would seem to make a hound-dog mile many miles in length. Regardless, this is a figurative mile; it's definitely not like the nautical mile which, while longer than the standard mile, is a standard length, nonetheless.

1. Gould, John, and Lillian Ross. 1975. Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads & Wazzats. 1st ed. Camden, Me.: Down East magazine quoted in Cassidy, Frederic Gomes, and Joan Houston Hall, eds. 1985. Dictionary of American Regional English. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 2:1130.

 

 

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About the illustration: Some citified dogs chasing a rabbit. It appears that the dog-owners are likely to drop dead before anyone else. © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation.  
cf: bird dog minute Last updated: August 20, 2008
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