What does the idiom "a dog's life" mean?
Are you using the idiom a dog's life but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the a dog's life idiom and the situations in which it is used.
Meaning of "a dog's life"
A difficult, hard life.
The phrase "a dog's life" is a common English idiom that is used to describe a difficult, unpleasant, or miserable existence. The term suggests that the life of a dog is one of hardship and suffering, and it is often used to describe situations in which someone is struggling or enduring a difficult time.
The origins of the phrase are uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the 16th century, when dogs were often kept as working animals and were subjected to harsh living conditions. The phrase reflects the idea that dogs were often mistreated and had to work hard for their owners, living a life that was unpleasant and difficult.
The idiom is often used in situations where someone is experiencing a lot of stress, hardship, or difficulty. For example, if someone were to say that they had been working long hours every day and had no time for themselves, someone else might respond by saying that they were living "a dog's life.”
Here are some examples of how to use "a dog's life" in a sentence
- Working two jobs to make ends meet can feel like a dog's life, but it's what I have to do to support my family.
- Being homeless and living on the streets is a dog's life - it's cold, dangerous, and difficult to survive.
- Studying for exams can feel like a dog's life, but it's worth it when you get good grades.
- Taking care of a sick family member can be a dog's life, but it's important to support those we love.
- Being a professional athlete may seem glamorous, but it can be a dog's life - the pressure, training, and injuries can take a toll.
In summary, "a dog's life" is a common English idiom used to describe a difficult, unpleasant, or miserable existence. The term reflects the idea that dogs were often mistreated and had to work hard for their owners, living a life that was unpleasant and difficult. The idiom is often used to describe situations in which someone is experiencing a lot of stress, hardship, or difficulty.
The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms
Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.