What does the idiom "be in the doghouse" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. be in the doghouse meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "be in the doghouse"


The idiom ‘be in the doghouse’ is used when someone is in a situation that is seen as negative or unfavorable due to their own actions. It is typically used to describe a situation in which a person is being punished or made to feel unwelcome because of something that has happened. It often implies that the person has done something wrong, and so is on the receiving end of some form of scolding or reprimand.


The origin of the idiom ‘be in the doghouse’ is unclear, though it has been in use since at least the late 19th century. It may have its roots in a common belief that dogs were kept as pets in order to protect a home, and that when they misbehaved they were locked in the doghouse as punishment. This belief has been around since at least the Middle Ages, so the phrase may be based on this idea.


There are many situations in which the idiom ‘be in the doghouse’ can be used. It is commonly used in a situation when someone has done something wrong, and so is being made to feel unwelcome or punished for their actions. It can also be used to describe a situation in which someone is being scolded for something they have done, or when a relationship has been damaged due to someone’s actions.

Example Sentences

  • I’m in the doghouse with my boss after missing that important meeting!
  • John is in the doghouse with his girlfriend after forgetting their anniversary.
  • My parents put me in the doghouse for staying out late last night.

The meanings of the words in the "be in the doghouse" idiom

Idioms with similar meanings in different languages

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an English idiom that means to pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action. In German, the similar idiom is "Auf dem Holzweg sein," which translates to "To be on the wrong track." This idiom emphasizes the idea that when you are pursuing the wrong course of action, you are not going to achieve your desired outcome.


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